Jason Boland and the Stragglers: The Latest and Greatest

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The Latest: Comal County Blue

I’m fresh off of a little vacation and back in time for pre-celebration for Jason Boland and the Stragglers upcoming show at the Wormy Dog Saloon on Thanksgiving night Nov.26, which also happens to be my birthday as well. I’m just going to drop a few lines for this Oklahoma native to show my respects.

Comal County Blue was a much anticipated release in August of 2008 and a sobering moment for most Jason Boland fans after a blood filled polyp obstructed his vocal chords. After a successful surgery and spending a lot of time in silence and then having to retrain his vocal chords to sing, a sigh of relief was delivered. Though sidelined for the release of the album, Comal County Blue still turned heads.  The album’s first radio soared to the number one spot and stunned the itunes world.

Comal County Blue has many solid tracks. As soon as you pop in the CD, Son’s and Daughter’s of Dixie delivers banjos and drums and that ole guitar from Boland we all know and love. Boland even gives you glimpse of his past demons in Bottle By My Bed and No Reason In Being Late. His second radio release, The Part’s Not Over, featuring a special quest vocal performance from Robert Earl Keen, is just another reason of why you should own this album. Comal County Blue was one the most celebrated albums in late 2008 and is still making waves. This album is Jason Boland and The Stragglers polished to it’s finest, lyrically and instrumentally as well. I get goose bumps just thinking of what is next for these guys. Outlaw Band reminds me most of why I even began to listen to Jason Boland and The Stragglers written by the late Bob Childers and other greats like Randy Crouch and Layle Stagner.

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The Greatest: Somewhere In The Middle

After I got an ear full of Jason Boland and Stragglers’ first albums I didn’t know if they could follow a debut album like 2001′s Pearl Snaps. I was young, fresh out of high school, and wild as the wind running back and forth between SWOSU and Stillwater. But then I herd these lyrics: “You don’t like my music, you don’t like my songs, Say you want to party, say you want to rock-n-roll, that carbon copy music don’t mean a damn to me”.

Sorry, I got a little side tracked, but man, those lyrics from the first track “hank” are amazing and make perfect sense in 2004 and still hold true today. But that song is just the beginning that makes these bourbon legends so unique in country music today. This album is probably in my CD player the most. Even with my vast collection of music, Somewhere In The Middle is most responsible for many hazy nights and trying to get my head straight.

In the song If You Want to Hear A Love Song, Boland sings about needing some love to show some love and in Stand Up To The Man they give you quick insight on not giving up on life and fighting till the end. 12oz. curls is a fun song written by Randy Crouch that any old bar hopping soul should love. Boland and The Stragglers even cover the classic Thunderbird, written by Billy Joe Shaver.

For a special treat, there is a secret song after Hell or Bust by Randy Crouch himself. Even Stoney LaRue jumps in there on the acoustic guitar. This album is a cure for whatever ails you and is one of my all time favorites. Don’t bother skipping any of the tracks because you won’t need too. Fiddle and steel guitar are no novelties with Jason Boland and The Stragglers.

So I hope I have done enough to encourage everyone to come out and see Jason Boland and the Stragglers on Thursday night after gobbling turkey all day and if you see me stumbling around I might let you buy me a beer or two, ’cause it will be my birthday as well.

-The Rooster

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