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NEW PICK OF THE WEEK

New Pick of the Week : Vern Gosdin "Nickels and Dimes and Love", Columbia

June 17, 1993|RANDY LEWIS

It's a crime that all the commercial success in recent years of the "new country" has meant that prior generations of country singers have been de facto retired--ready or not.

Country music is about life, and life is experience--and while emotions can be approximated or feigned altogether, experience can't be faked. That's what comes through most clearly on the latest by veteran Gosdin.

With a voice that aches and yearns like a sibling of George Jones, Gosdin, 58, sings about losing--losing a love, losing respect, losing everything--and he makes you believe every pain.

In Hugh Prestwood's "Back When," about a man in a troubled relationship who struggles to rekindle the love that somewhere gave way to bitterness, Gosdin stretches the phrase "wa-a-a-y back in my memories" to show how far away those good times can seem.

And like Jones the master, he has the ability to take a song that could turn hopelessly sappy--"What Are We Gonna Do About Me," a child's eye view of his parents' impending divorce--and render it heartbreakingly real.

He won't ace Brooks, Jackson or Black out as a pinup poster subject, but you better believe this old dog could show those young pups a few new tricks on the bandstand, where it counts.

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