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Tall Texas Tales

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Album Review

Journeyman singer/songwriter Bob Cheevers relocated to Austin, TX, an appropriate residence for a performer who writes and performs in a country/folk/rock style similar to many Texas songwriters, and he celebrates his new home state on this album, paying his respects in such selections as the name-dropping rocker "Texas Is an Only Child," one of those names being that of Texas native Willie Nelson, to whom Cheevers bears a vocal similarity so close he could front a Nelson tribute band without any strain. The album's title turns out to be deceptive; there isn't actually much in the way of tall Texas tales here. In "Budget Motel," Cheevers sings, "I don't know if it's true, this story I tell, but it happened to me," yet the only story he tells is about a man on the road who stops in a motel for the night, dreams of his lover, and leaves in the morning. "Mushroom Cloud Lil" nearly answers to the description of a tall tale set in Texas, claiming that J. Robert Oppenheimer, developer of the atom bomb in Los Alamos, NM, had a daughter who was "the real atom bomb," but that's the only song that even comes close to justifying the album title. (The Bo Diddley rocker "One Good Rib" is a retelling of the story of Genesis, which Texas fundamentalists would not consider "tall" at all, and anyway, the Garden of Eden wasn't in Texas, was it?) Nevertheless, Cheevers does deliver a collection of good songs in a variety of familiar roots styles, and even if he sounds a lot like Willie Nelson, that's not such a bad thing for a guy to do in Texas.

Biography

Genre: Country

Years Active: '90s

Contemporary folk singer/songwriter Bob Cheevers was born and raised in Memphis; relocating to California after graduating college, he landed a solo deal with Dot Records, soon after resurfacing as the frontman of the bubblegum group Peppermint Trolley Company. Though scoring a minor hit with "Baby You Come Rollin' Across My Mind" and issuing a self-titled LP on Acta in 1968, the band was perhaps best known for performing the theme songs for the hit television comedies Love, American Style and (during...
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Tall Texas Tales, Bob Cheevers
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