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Star Room Boys
THIS WORLD JUST WONíT LEAVE YOU ALONE
(SLEWFOOT)

Stars graphics

The sad side of life can make for the best country tunes. And Dave Marr of the Athens-based Star Room Boys proves it again and again on this sturdy, evocative, straight-ahead C&W set, the bandís first release since their well-received 1999 debut. Marrís plaintive songwriting touch and slightly straining, everyman vocals call to mind Gram Parsons; guitarist Philip McArdle and steel-guitarist Johnny Neff share the breaks with soul and without ostentation. High points include the several dirges, especially the frayed wires of "Cocaine Parties" and "Whiskey and You." Marr also bums out memorably on up-tempo tunes like the top-notch set opener, "White Lies, Blue Tears," and he offers a new addition to the pantheon of truck-driving numbers, "The Daydreamer." But he doesnít need to rely on mind-altering substances and other familiar props to make a lovelorn point. The sense of quiet desperation comes through simply in the way his tenor voice delivers the lines.

BY BILL KISLIUK

Issue Date: March 28 - April 4, 2002
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