Sons of the Desert Change

Call me a sucker for an acoustic guitar and a harmony, but this second release by Tony Brown protégés Sons Of The Desert is stuck on "repeat." In the face of a faceless line-up of mass-produced country pop, these guys have something going. Namely, Drew Womack, Tim Womack and Doug Virden. The harmonies are their stock in trade and each track is expertly produced - riding that fine line between overly slick and heartfelt. The songs choices are all over the map but they make you want to crank them up loud with the car windows down. Country-light, they ride the range somewhere between America's Ventura Highway, Poco's From The Inside and the Eagles' On The Border. The expert accompaniment by steel guitar, banjo, and big-bottomed drums thrusts them into something quite seriously musical. And those lush harmonies more than split the difference between the big-hat, high energy crowd and the over-the-top, hurtin', flavour-of-the-week that Nashville churns out like bad marriages. Given that these guys are even writing much of their own material while outrunning the star maker interference of Tony Brown, speaks volumes about their potential staying power. (MCA Nashville)