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Walt Wilkins & The Mystiqueros - Diamonds In The Sun 
Review By: George Peden, CSO Staff Journalist

Diamonds In The Sun is the new release from Texas troubadour Walt Wilkins and his hot fired band, The Mystiqueros. Out on maverick label, Palo Duro Records, the album is a charged body of tight playing and memorable tunes. With Lloyd Maines twiddling the console knobs in the producer’s booth, Diamonds is a polished nugget, shining bright on the Americana musical landscape.

Wilkins has been refining his craft in and around Texas for 30 years. It shows. This guy knows the corridors and byways to musical acceptance. His songs are not only strong lyrically, painting the honest truths of the everyday life, but they share their commentary in a simple and listener-friendly way, one that captivates, holds and inspires. It’s a big claim, lofty maybe, but truthful. A look at this week’s Texas Music Chart further proves the point. 

The radio single, “Trains I Missed”, one of the seven co-written by Wilkins in the dozen tune set, is currently riding high at number 12. The track tells in metaphorical terms life is what you make it; but, as the song shows, the redeeming features of wasted opportunities and regret can influence a man’s character – if he sees his failures soon enough.

Another standout cut on the album is “Honky Tonk Road”. The lonely lament of smoky halls, late nights, poor door takes, hot lights and rowdy crowds with the promise that when the gig’s done, it starts all over again in another town tomorrow, paints a familiar scene to the struggling Indie act and serves as education to hopeful wannabees.

There are several top drawer tunes on this album. Partly because Wilkins collaborates carefully, and he’s a skilled scribe himself, known for his “Songs About Texas”, a breakout for Pat Green among others. But the real essence of Wilkins’ talent comes heard in the mellow, the reflective, and the honest baring of life laid open. Tracks like “You Can’t Outdrink The Truth”, with its ache of blame and despair; hiding away in an empty corner booth only reveals the truth the lovelorn know: you can hide, but you can’t outdrink the truth. More ponderous moments play out on the Davis Raines collaboration, “Just Like Hank”. The tale of misery and woe, a life channeling the fortunes of country music’s main icon, proves there’s good music in the misery. Davis Raines smiles on with a cover of his “Big Shiny Cars” on the album. The Band’s “The Shape I’m In” is also a welcomed inclusion. 

This is pretty much a faultless album – good writing, strong and purposeful lyrics, and a band honed and forged out of constant touring deliver the promise. If you’re tired of buckles, fashioned hats and choreographed publicity, it’s time you found some real, honest country. Try Walt Wilkins and The Mystiqueros, diamonds in the rough… Diamonds In The Sun. 

The Mystiqueros: Walt Wilkins-vocals/rhythm guitars; Ramon Rodriguez-drums/vocals; Marcus Eldridge-lead guitars/vocals; Johnny Greenberg-lead/baritone guitars/vocals; Bill Small-bass, percussion, guitar and vocals. 

Related Links:   
Official Website

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