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Album Review

The Charlie Sizemore Band gather their instrumental and vocal prowess behind Sizemore's country-styled vocals on Good News. The band plays contemporary bluegrass but, like many other current groups, continues to touch upon traditional themes. Two drinking songs, "Blame It on Vern" and "The Less I That I Drink," are by turns sad and humorous. "I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up" is a freewheeling celebration of the power of love and is followed, incongruously, by "I Won't Be Far from Here," a song about one of country music's favorite standbys, a no-good woman. As has become standard in contemporary bluegrass, Sizemore includes at least two Civil War songs, "Whiskey Willie" and "The Silver Bugle." The first is about a whiskey maker who — in the spirit of democracy — sells his brew to the North and South. "The Silver Bugle" is more plaintive, a story of how the war has continued to haunt Southern memory. One curiosity is "Alison's Band," from the point of view of a bluegrass picker (who seems to be Sizemore) who dreams of playing with Alison Krauss. The song name-checks everyone in the band, and it will probably give fans — of Sizemore and Krauss — a good belly laugh. With good songs and performances, the Charlie Sizemore Band have delivered a solid set. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Rovi

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