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                               Darkness and Light
                                    John Bunzow

It is a common occurence for modern entertainers to be compared to great names that have already carved their way in history. As in country music, it seems the public will not be content until the next Woody Guthrie, Pete Seger or Bob Dylan blow us all away with their insight, their compassion and their sheer gift of music. I don't think this will happen until the public realizes that ideas don't just jump out of the speakers and into one's ears--you need to listen to what is being said. That's why I'm glad that circumstances caused me to first read the lyrics of DARKNESS AND LIGHT before I actually got to listen to the recording. This, folks, is poetry at it's finest. These words come from the depths of the soul. They travel upward and onward, forever forward. They describe the heartache of true despair, the promise of hope and the joy of contentment. To read these lyrics are to walk in the shoes of a man who has seen the bottom. To listen to this recording is to take hold of that man's hand and let him lead you to a better place, or at least let you know that you do not travel alone. With the help of an exceptional collection of musician's, this is a CD that will not gather dust in your collection. Thanks to Tim Lauer on keyboards and Allison Moorer, Anthony Crawford and Jimmy Hall providing harmony vocals, Bunzow's thoughts and music come to life in a wonderful manner. The rhythm section, Larry Mars on bass, Chad Cromwell and John Gardner on drums provide a solid sound that is greatly enhanced by Dan Dugmore's pedal steel guitar and Ray Kennedy's slide. I also thought that adding shakers on "Choices Come Easy" was a nice touch. The violin on "Straight Into The Sun" by Tammy Rogers is also superb. This a CD that country music lovers will love, but is sure to make an impression on anyone you play it for. Or, if you're just feeling down and need some soothing reassurance for yourself, this is group therapy---country style.

Pat Benny


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