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XIT - Ten in Texas (multiple artists)
By: Cheryl Harvey Hill, Sr. Staff Journalist

On their website, Icehouse Music, Inc. says their company was created "to promote and distribute Texas music with a goal to make these unique and popular Texas artists more accessible to the public and to create and expand the fan base for the music while paying homage to its roots and the pioneers who cultivated it." To that end they offer up XIT - Ten in Texas, a new anthology featuring "brand new, never-heard-before recordings" of ten of the best songs to ever come out of Texas. Now, I don't intend, in any way, to minimize the contributions that the state of Texas has made to country music but I do think that even the most dedicated, die-hard Texan will admit that they are, among all the other "greatest" things they claim to be, the worlds greatest braggarts. Some pretty tall tales have come out of Texas and Texans do have a tendency to take credit for the biggest, brightest and best of everything (oh-oh, 10,000 Texas cowboys just reached for a lariat and not because they want to show off their rope tricks) so let me hurry up and say this; when it comes to Ten in Texas, they aren't just bragging. Every masterful inflection and libretto on this CD has an authentic Lone Star stamp. 

One of my all-time favorite songs, most notably covered in the past by Mickey Gilley, is "True Love Ways." This marvelous tune, co-written by Norman Petty and the late Buddy Holly, is delightfully delivered on this album with a superb fiddle accompaniment. This one track is worth the price of the album.

You wouldn't be able to call this a "best of Texas" album if you failed to include a song that is practically synonymous for Texas, honky tonk, music; "Lone Star Beer and Bob Wills Music." Gary P. Nunn delivers an excellent rendition of this Texas anthem which was penned by none other than "The Official Cowboy Poet of Texas," Mr. Red Steagall.

The piano intro on "Honky Tonk Heroes" will instantly transport you through some mental, swinging, saloon doors and Carolyn Wonderfland's voice is the perfect instrument to deliver this Billy Joe Shaver song. This was one of my favorite tracks but, all in all, there is something for everyone on this album no matter what your musical preference, which is really pretty amazing when you consider there are only ten tracks here. Without a doubt, this album actually does contain ten of the best songs to ever come of out Texas ... or anywhere else, for that matter.

1 Ruthie Foster - Texas Cookin’ - (Guy Clark)
2 Carolyn Wonderland - Honky Tonk Heroes - (Billy Joe Shaver)
3 Aaron Watson - True Love Ways - (Buddy Holly)
4 Joe Ely - Sunday Morning Coming Down (Kris Kristofferson)
5 Gary P. Nunn - Lone Star Beer And Bob Wills Music - (Red Steagall)
6 Asleep At The Wheel - The Other Woman - (Rollins)
7 Terri Hendrix - Cowboy - (Betty Elders)
8 Dale Watson - The Grand Tour - (G. Richey, N. Wilson, C. Taylor)
9 Johnny Bush /Cornell Hurd - There’s A Little Bit Of Everything In Texas - (Ernest Tubb)
10 Willie Nelson - Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys


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