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CD: HOWARD STEELE - The Little Country Store

The Little Country Store
The Little Country Store - A Million Guitars - The Bright Lights of Reno - In A Perfect World - This Buds For you - The Hero the Country Laid To Rest - Little Boxes - As Sure As Niagara Falls - I Get The Blues When I Remember You - Cadillac Woman - Don't Cry Joni - Sime Me Faded Love Again
It doesn't matter to me how you lay it, if it's country, it's country, and that's good enough for me.  Howard Steele makes his home in Monroe, Oregon, and he has put together some excellent 'real' country musicians for this very satisfying CD of traditional and classic country music.  He has also put together a group of songs I have not heard before, with the names of the writers.  I am assuming he knows these writers personally, because the feeling he puts into each and every one of them is the true objective of any true country artist,.  Alton Wayne Crump wrote the cover song "The Little Country Store" and he's also the engineer in the studio.  Roger Berggren plays the most different instruments, fiddle (he does a super job on "This Buds For You") , acoustic guitar, 12-string guitar, steel, mandolin, and even the bass.  Gordon Kkuryluk plays the piano on one of the songs, and Ellen Wilson adds some excellent old-time harmony to Howard's nice old-time voice.  Some excellent acoustic guitar picking throughout this adventure, and it surely does make the songs sound good.  I even like Howard's voice, it's kind of old-timey, and at the same time true to the objective of staying 'true' to the original country music genre that is so lacking in today's modern country music world.  Little boxes little boxes used to  be about ticky tacky houses all looking alike in the world of folk music.  In Howard's musical world it's about 'pill' boxes for all the pills older people have to take.  I liked the song "Don't Cry Joni" maybe because we have a politician running for a high post in Iowa, and her first name is Joni. No connection there, but the song is super.  Howard and his vocalist partner Ellen Wilson do a great job putting the song over.  All together this album is a great classic country piece of work.  Off it goes to the Rural Roots Music Commission even though it's early in the running for a CD of the Year award, but I'm thinking that might happen.
for Country Music News International Magazine

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