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Waxed - Record Review from Issue #32 March-April 2001

Gary P. Nunn

It's A Texas Thing (Campfire)

Since the early 1970s, during his days as the ringleader of the Lost Gonzo Band, Gary P. Nunn has epitomized the honky-tonk spirit of Texas music. Alternatingly humorous and sensitive, rowdy and quiet, Nunn’s songs have been recorded by Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker, Michael Martin Murphey and others whose names are better-known beyond the Red River. But in the Lone Star State, nary a weekend goes by without Nunn and his Sons of the Bunkhouse Band bringing down the roof of a sold-out roadhouse with a raucous performance of barbecue-and-beer-smelling stuff you just don’t get anywhere else.

His new disc, It’s A Texas Thing, continues the tradition, mixing flavorful and heartfelt ballads such as “First Things First” and “First Forget” with toe-tapping western swing-informed two-steppers such as “Taking Bob Back To Tulsa”, “It’s About To Get Western”, “Dear John Letter Lounge”, and “Honking Out Some Hank”.

Nunn’s humor emerges on “Redneck Riviera”, about a low-rent campground, and “Cow Pasture Pool”, a howlingly funny confessional that could be the anthem for bad golfers everywhere. And there’s the obligatory Third Coast Tex-Mex offering, the richly textured “He Never Came Back From Mexico”, written by Dallas singer-songwriter Brian Burns.

It doesn’t hurt that Lloyd Maines produced and plays everything with strings within reach. The musical accompaniment is top-notch, and Nunn’s voice does just what he wants it to, depending on the nature and tempo of the tune. It may be a Texas thing, but you don’t have to be a Texan to appreciate Gary P. Nunn.

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Originally Featured in Issue #32 March-April 2001

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