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Don't Look For a Heartache

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Album Review

Early in his career, Jimmie Dale Gilmore seemed to have a hard time deciding if he wanted to be a honky tonk man or a songwriting Zen Cowboy, and while most of his best albums (most notably the lovely After Awhile) have landed solidly in the latter category, his first two solo records made it clear he knew how to make with the West Texas dancehall sound when he needed to, and could do it up right. Don't Look for a Heartache was compiled from 1988's Fair and Square and 1989's Jimmie Dale Gilmore, both recorded for Hightone at the dawn of Gilmore's solo career when he was using his elliptical lyrical style and trademark wavering tenor in the service of neo-traditional Texas country sounds. While this set doesn't do much to improve on Gilmore's fine self-titled album, it is a more consistent and compelling listen than Fair and Square, and the folks who compiled this disc have managed to harvest most of the best moments from each album and assemble them in a form that serves the material well. (The remastering sounds swell, too, and an unreleased track from the Jimmie Dale Gilmore sessions has been added for good measure; "Rambling Man" falls well short of life-altering, but it's good swinging fun, with solid steel and fiddle work.) While completists and serious fans will want the two original albums, dabblers curious about Gilmore's early releases will be well served with Don't Look for a Heartache, which manages to be contemplative and good fun at the same time.


Born: 06 May 1945 in Amarillo, TX

Genre: Country

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

With his warm, warbling tenor voice and folksy, friendly approach to both his music and his audiences, Jimmie Dale Gilmore is an easy guy to like. His music is a rich blend of traditional country, folk, blues, and rock styles, and his lyrics reflect both his philosophical interests and his inherent down-home nature. Since moving to Austin, TX, and reviving his career in the 1980s, Gilmore has in many ways come to represent the current Austin music scene -- its rootsy mix of country, rock, and folk...
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Don't Look For a Heartache, Jimmie Dale Gilmore
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