HONKY TONK CONFIDENTIAL "Road Kill Stew and Other News" Two Many Dogs

Friday, April 13, 2007

HONKY TONK CONFIDENTIAL"Road Kill Stew and Other News"Two Many Dogs

DAN RATHER SHARING the stage with R.E.M.? Ed Bradley jamming with the Neville Brothers? Bob Schieffer recording with Honky Tonk Confidential? Must be something in the water coolers at CBS.

Yet strange as the Schieffer-HTC alliance may seem, the avuncular correspondent sounds perfectly at home on "Road Kill Stew and Other News," so much so that you find yourself wishing the Austin native with a flair for talking blues would hang around a little longer. Though he had a hand in writing four songs on the album, Schieffer's chief assignment is the lead vocal on "TV Anchorman," a tune that he penned with HTC's Diana Quinn and Mike Woods. Over a bouncing Texas swing beat, Schieffer recounts one Bubba's path to stardom. "I have to say they pay me good / A whole lot better than Stuckey's ever would / And a cute little stage manager gives me all my cues / Selling tractor hats and pumping gas / That's all part of my long-ago past / Now I just sit there and read the news." If Schieffer ever hangs up his boots at CBS, there's got to be a job at JibJab waiting for him.

That there are plenty of other reasons to stay tuned to "Road Kill Stew" won't come as news to longtime HTC fans. Much of the writing is clever (the title track and "A Girl Named Dick," for starters), vocalist Quinn is in winning form, and there's no shortage of twangy guitars and dancehall beat before Schieffer returns with an amusing sign-off.

-- Mike Joyce

Appearing Sunday at Iota.

Listen to an audio clip of Honky Tonk Confidential


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