Compendia releases this Texas-centric compilation under the "Cowpendia" banner, and quite honestly, it aptly represents the thriving Lone Star singer/ songwriter scene via rough-and-rowdy cuts custom-

Compendia releases this Texas-centric compilation under the "Cowpendia" banner, and quite honestly, it aptly represents the thriving Lone Star singer/ songwriter scene via rough-and-rowdy cuts custom-built for live audiences. It's all good, seamlessly blending veterans like Asleep at the Wheel, Kevin Welch, and Rodney Crowell with up-and-comers Pat Green, Jack Ingram, and Bruce Robison, as well as such on-the-bubble acts as Cooder Graw, Eleven Hundred Springs, Reckless Kelly, and Cross Canadian Ragweed. Green sets the tone on Django Walker's "Texas on My Mind," and Eleven Hundred's cool "See You in the Next Life" chronicles a relationship well-ended. Kevin Fowler's "Beer, Bait & Ammo" and Jason Boland & the Stragglers' "Pearl Snap Shirts" are joyously redneck, while Cooder Graw impresses with its hangdog self-pity on "Better Days." Roger Creager impressively combines rock attitude and acoustic instrumentation on the biting "Love." Ingram's "Drive On" is nothing short of brilliant, and Crowell's "Highway 17" is a stark, dark portrait of crime and loss. It's very clear what's driving this movement: heart, guts, great songs, and a truckload of attitude. Are you listening, Nashville?—RW

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