11 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

For all their flash and sparkle, Junior Brown’s first three albums—which form a sort of trilogy—were intimate affairs, recorded in a gentle, organic style. That changed on 1998’s Long Walk Back, which is more extroverted and excitable than its predecessors. “Long Walk Back to San Antone” proves that Brown still crafts exquisite chrome-plated specimens of vintage Bakersfield swing, but the change in tone is instantly evident. These songs have more slap-back echo and thicker arrangements, including a background chorus on several songs. An early rock 'n' roll influence takes it place alongside Brown’s standard taste in classic country. While “The Better Half,” “Rock-A-Hula Baby," and “Lookin’ for Love” bring Brown’s affection for Elvis Presley to the forefront, Long Walk Back also has a handful of flawless country performances. Witness the way the guitarist’s voice hangs in the air during “Just a Little Love” or the sneering momentum his backing band gives to “I’m All Fire Up.” In these tunes, Brown achieves a fusion of elegance and attitude not seen since Merle Haggard and Johnny Paycheck were in their hungry primes.

EDITORS’ NOTES

For all their flash and sparkle, Junior Brown’s first three albums—which form a sort of trilogy—were intimate affairs, recorded in a gentle, organic style. That changed on 1998’s Long Walk Back, which is more extroverted and excitable than its predecessors. “Long Walk Back to San Antone” proves that Brown still crafts exquisite chrome-plated specimens of vintage Bakersfield swing, but the change in tone is instantly evident. These songs have more slap-back echo and thicker arrangements, including a background chorus on several songs. An early rock 'n' roll influence takes it place alongside Brown’s standard taste in classic country. While “The Better Half,” “Rock-A-Hula Baby," and “Lookin’ for Love” bring Brown’s affection for Elvis Presley to the forefront, Long Walk Back also has a handful of flawless country performances. Witness the way the guitarist’s voice hangs in the air during “Just a Little Love” or the sneering momentum his backing band gives to “I’m All Fire Up.” In these tunes, Brown achieves a fusion of elegance and attitude not seen since Merle Haggard and Johnny Paycheck were in their hungry primes.

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