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CD Reviews  Tommy Womack Circus Town


As if Tim Carroll’s outstanding CD,AlwaysTomorrow, wasn’t enough, SideburnRecords has given us an additional treat with another wonderful collection of original compositions by Tommy Womack, called Circus Town. It isn’t likely that we’ll ever see Tim Carroll or Tommy Womack perform during a Super Bowl halftime. I doubt that either of them will be part of the closing ceremony of the Summer Olympics. Disney won’t be calling them either, and why? Because all of these events require music that is innocuous, sanitized, synthesized, filtered and accompanied by a thousand dancers. All to be lip-synched by a buffed, pumped, and surgically altered super-star while the pyrotechnics display explodes all around the arena.I can’t speak for Tim and Tommy, but I suspect they would both be happy to reach a level of success where they don’t have to keep a constant eye on their equipment during the gig.
 
  But aren’t we all the better for it that Sideburn Records knows true talent when they hear it?
Circus Town, Womack’s third release, is a wonderful mix of wry humor, hard times and high hopes.  It may not please everyone man, woman and child in that football stadium, but it is a breath of fresh air to those of us who crave the music that describes our inner thoughts and feelings.  Music that not only pleases the ears but urges us to look into our hearts and minds and think.
 
  The first track,
Tough, has a Tom Petty rock to it, with a cynical but nonchalant look at life and how rough you need to be to deal with it.  That sounds gloomy, but somehow it comes out simultaneously foreboding and encouraging.
 
 
The Highway’s Coming is a rockabilly influenced tune, with lyrics that borderline on blasphemy. The band really stretches out on this one, with a great guitar solo and tight drums, this song warns you that trouble is comin’, so “get out of the way.”
 
 
Fake It ‘til You Make It, could be the anthem for all the musicians who hold down a full time job while they’re waiting to perform with the thousand lip-synching dancers and the fireworks, et al.  To this writer, it brought back memories of The Kinks—not Lola, but the obscure tracks that had a driving rhythm and a cynical commentary on how things work in our society.
 
 
My Name Is Mudd is plain old country-rock with a little punk added for good measure.  It tells the simple story of a good old boy partying it up, but knowing all along what is in store for him when he eventually goes home.
 
  Beginning with a deceiving country harmonica and slow country shuffle, Womack sings The Replacements in a style reminiscent of Arlo Guthrie. He tells the sad story of a rock and roll band that made it to the football stadium—fireworks and all, and pissed it all away on drugs and arguments.  This is my favorite, as it reminds this writer of Cajun/Zydeco music in the sense that the happy-go- lucky tune bellies the sad story held within.
 
  All in all, this is a well-produced, well-executed collection by an artist who deserves much more recognition than he has previously received.  I wish
Tommy Womack and Tim Carroll all the best; and I hope that all who read this spend a little more time at their favorite watering hole, supporting the myriad of talent that lies within these caverns and less time standing in line outside of TicketMaster.    Who knows?  You just might discover the next Superstar!   

Pat Benny

                                                              

For more information on these and other CDs from Sideburn Records, check out www.burnsiderecords.com

 

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