Billboard Hot 100 Fest

26 Days on the Road

The TwangBangers comprise hard-charging HighTone artists Dallas Wayne, Bill Kirchen, Redd Volkaert, and Joe Goldmark, who joined forces last summer (with Goldmark's rhythm section Johnny and Jack) for

The TwangBangers comprise hard-charging HighTone artists Dallas Wayne, Bill Kirchen, Redd Volkaert, and Joe Goldmark, who joined forces last summer (with Goldmark's rhythm section Johnny and Jack) for a rowdy tour; fortunately, somebody turned on the tape machine in Springfield, Mo. Instrumentally, the spotlight is on string kings Kirchen (Commander Cody), Volkaert (Merle Haggard), and steel maven Goldmark, with Wayne providing plenty of vocal muscle throughout. Classics like "Truck Drivin' Man" and Willie Nelson's "I Gotta Get Drunk" are performed with mucho gusto, accentuated by jaw-dropping licks and this kickin' rhythm section. Each picker showcases monster chops, including Goldmark on "Wacky Walk" and Volkaert's funky "Telewacker," and Kirchen et al. give lessons in boogie on "Hot Rod Lincoln." Elsewhere, "She Loves Anything That Swings" is a manic Texas shuffle, "Rockabilly Funeral" is a reverb-drenched thumper, and Wayne nails such ballads as Johnny Paycheck's "In Memory of a Memory" and his own "The Stuff Inside." This is a roadhouse glory that goes down particularly well with beer.—RW