CD and Book Reviews

Hot CDs

Sing, Cowboy, Sing: The Gene Autry Collection (Rhino) is a three- CD set featuring 84 favorites by the singing cowboy from Tioga. But these aren’t always the best-known versions; many are previously unreleased transcriptions from his Melody Ranch radio show that measure up well and thus add to the Autry legacy. Irresistibly aw-shucks and easygoing, this music will put you right back in the movie theater, front row center, or around the family radio, just like World War II never happened.

Steve Earle’s co-production of  Livin’ or Dyin(Rising Tide) makes Dallas singer-songwriter Jack Ingram sound more like—surprise?—Steve Earle than did Ingram’s three prior independent CDs. But it’s the kind of go-for-broke honky-tonk that defies such objections, with enough twang to vibrate bar stools and shuffles you can almost slam dance to. Originals like “Ghost of a Man” and remakes like “Dim Lights, Thick Smoke (And Loud, Loud Music)” have a wasted and wounded yet aggressive feel that blows

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