Recording information: The Dog Bone Studio, Burbank CA (04/2001/05/2002).
Photographer: Jason Miller .
Arrangers: Misery Boys; Rex Hobart.
Rex Hobart's third Bloodshot release in four years, at ten tracks and just over half an hour of music, is a little on the short side. But how much heartbreak, cryin', and twangy reverbed regret can you take in one sitting? Executive produced by Dwight Yoakam axeman and knob twiddler Pete Anderson, who oughta know his way around a good Bakersfield tune by now, Your Favorite Fool is top-shelf, low-down tears-in-yer-beer honky tonk, like in the old Faron Young days. Torchy country & western chanteuse Kelly Hogan goes sob for sob with Hobart on the George Jones/Tammy Wynette-styled "Golden Ring," just to prove that hurtin' aches as much on both sides of the altar. Hot dawg double-time licks kick into high gear on the Commander Cody-ish "I Don't Feel It Anymore," proving that the Misery Boys can tear it up with the best of them. But it's the sobbin' steel guitar and classic Buck Owens sound that drives the majority of this disc. Even though it's all been heard before, Hobart's expressively deep baritone and no-frills approach go down like good whiskey after a bad night. Titles like "Gotta Get Back to Forgetting You" and "You've Got Some Cheatin' to Do" tell the story without having to hear a note. It's a slice of pure, dusty country the way they used to make it before the big hats and bigger production budgets moved in. You'll be singing Hobart's songs well after the half-hour it takes to spin this short but sweet album. ~ Hal Horowitz