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Donald Fuller - The Texas Twister
Review By: George Peden, CSO Staff Journalist

Here at CSO we get our fair share of music from wannabee hopefuls. And to be honest some of it is mediocre, some plain bad, some good and a tad, a small offering, better than good.

What a surprise The Texas Twister, the debut release from Donald Fuller, is. Out on the appropriately tagged Honky-Tonk-Blue-Collar Redneck Records label, the album is a solid mix of sobs, laughs and hum-alongs. And while the spotlight will shine brightly on new talent Fuller, a good hard look at the liner notes reveals a need to share the applause. Jerry Hunter has written or co-written all of the 14 tracks.

While Fuller has the bent, chops and vocal puff to pull a song together, and he does it well here, a song’s lasting impact comes found in the words. Jerry Hunter can write. His words and Fuller’s open and honest voice make for a tight collaboration. These two Texas mates have struck a winning formula.

It’s worth a second mention – Hunter can sure write a tune. The album is brimful with nuggets which, with a little exposure and needed airplay, could find their way to the minefields of radio. A tough and tender standout is the opening cut, “When I Hear There She Goes (I Fall To Pieces)”. Crafty use of classic song titles weaved around the heartache of a replaced corner jukebox proves the talented Fuller/Hunter combo works. But don’t put the Kleenex away just yet. Listen out for the weeper, “Does Anyone Remember My Daddy?” The fiddle-soaked tale of a desperate child pining for a missing-in-action dad, hoping to connect over the Internet with anyone who knows him, is A-grade country.

For balance, “Callin’ Dr.Phil,” and “Bubba Louise” showcase Hunter’s comedic pen. Hunter’s take on Oprah’s relationship guru is wickedly clever, as we hear of how a guy loses his girlfriend – to his wife! And “Bubba Louise” is a politically incorrect swipe at surgical gender error on a guy who’s traded overalls for a low-cut dress and waxed legs. Um, err, different.

Sanity and rockier moments come with “Riginal Recipe”, the thumping “My Train Of Thought (Keeps Jumpin’ The Track)”, while the fiddle-led title track also keeps the toes moving.

A final nod needs to go to the band. They made it happen. The guys pulled in tight on the Fuller/Hunter offerings and delivered keenly.

Bad. Good. Better. Best. Here at CSO, we put the Twister in box four.

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