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Jason Whitton
Thriftstore Cowboy

Review By Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
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Jason Whitton Thriftstore Cowboy

CD Label: VAVV Records


  Jason Whitton may have a few hits on his hands if the folks in Nashville found out about Thriftstore Cowboy. How could you possibly go wrong with a title like that? Its like "Rhinestone Cowboy" or "Urban Cowboy," it has a certain ring to it, just like all the tracks on the album.

The album gets you in the groove right from the start with a melodic heartfelt tune titled "Alibi." Whitton sounds a lot like Michael Stipe of REM on the track. In fact, the entire song sounds like it came from an REM album. I always cringe a bit inside when I make comparisons to other artists but sometimes I just cannot help it. It's always meant as a huge compliment from my point of view.

Music and lyrics like this gives me the goose bumps and that chill up my spine, the kind they say you feel when a spirit just came in the room and left. It is something you recognize immediately being something that is honest and real-like mom and apple pie. Whitton sings in very simplistic terms and gets to the point in his songs and the instrumentation serves as a perfect match. The acoustic guitar is irresistible as it strums along preying upon your heartstrings every step of the way. The reason it affected me so was Whitton's vocals, they pull you inside the song in a snap. His sound is so familiar to me; it made me think of Kenny Loggins meets Michael Stipe with clearly defined country Americana flair. In the closing track, a great cover of "Use Me," he sounds fantastic and very much like Loggins, more so than on any other track. In any event, regardless of comparisons I make its all good. I certainly appreciated all the music and the standout vocals. I am not a pickin' and a grinin' type of country listener, I like that roots Americana feel with just enough country twang to make it all an all around appealing mixture. For those that like ballads, "Madagascar" and "Ruby" are notable tracks.

This is an excellent album, each track offers something good to absorb and apply to your own life in some way, and the musicianship is outstanding, making Thriftstore Cowboy one of the best new albums of 2006. You don't have to be a cowboy or six-string slinger to find common ground with music like this.



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