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POP MUSIC | ***1/2, JUNIOR BROWN, "Semi-Crazy", Curb

Album Review

May 19, 1996|Randy Lewis

Thank God for Junior Brown. Almost single-handedly, this gloriously larger-than-life singer-songwriter-guitarist is restoring honest-to-goodness character to country music.

The Austinite's latest album is the best reflection yet of his remarkable talent. Such songs as "Gotta Get Up Every Morning" and "Joe the Singing Janitor" cannily honor and parody country tradition. Yet by stretching stories of wayward lovers almost beyond believability--as Hank Williams himself often did--Brown magnifies and clarifies the very real emotions underlying them.

His stentorian bass-baritone is a treasure in itself, while his proficiency on his self-designed "guit-steel" is simply phenomenal, whether he's reeling off classic country riffs, stinging, Hendrix-soaked blues or 100% unadulterated surf-rock.

Semi-crazy? You'd have to be half-nuts not to love this guy.

*

Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent).

Hear Junior Brown

* To hear excerpts from "Semi-Crazy," call TimesLine at 808-8463 and press *5721.

In 805 area code, call (818) 808-8463.

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