One Man's Trash
The album is subtitled "The Charlie Burton Story: '77-'99". That's right, he's been recording for more than 20 years, and you've never heard of him! Unless, perhaps, you live in Nebraska (his original home) or Austin (his current one). This album collects 23 Burton recordings arranged chronologically, including a couple of recent live-on-radio tracks. (But it does not include anything from his superb 1997 album "Rustic Fixer-Upper".)
Burton is a roots-rocker most notable for his lyrics. The earliest tracks here are primitive both musically (rockabilly meets punk) and sonically (recorded in the bathroom?). On the Buddy Holly-ish "Succubus", Burton's more melodic side begins to emerge. Other highlights include the bizarre Texas cult favorite "Roadkill" and a few fine country songs including "Spare Me the Details" and the hilariously scatological "Without My Woman". The musically diverse sounds are united by Burton's penchant for acerbic wit. (Burton's handwritten liner notes are pretty funny in their own right, although barely legible at times.)
This album is more rock than country, but for those with eclectic musical tastes and a sense of humor, Burton is a songwriter well worth seeking out.
(bulldogrecords.com) - Joel Bernstein
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