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The Coleman Brothers DOWN BY THE FISHING HOLE ©2010 PVI Records MTM265301 Review by Lucky Boyd Co-Founder, MyTexasMusic.com
Sometimes we tend to name ourselves. We say we’re songwriters, or guitarists; drummers or singers. One rung up the ladder is the ‘recording artist’ moniker, which must certainly be earned. Occasionally, what we do defines us. In the case of The Coleman Brothers, this disc has served to push them even higher up the hill to the rank of ‘entertainers.’ It’s a tough level to reach. Oh, sure, there are a lot of artists who have released ‘entertaining’ albums, but few can truly be defined by the essence of the music and still hold the entertainer title. Understanding the difference is the first step. An artist is someone who creates based on their experiences, observations, and reflections. In the music business, artists occupy every corner; it’s that whole ‘eye of the beholder’ thing you’ve heard about. An entertainer, or a group that truly entertains, takes an entirely different approach to the whole process. The Coleman Brothers go into this thing with a slightly skewed attitude. First, the subject matter is comfortable to all of us, as each song is relatable and well-phrased for easy listening. Next, the music is diversionary in that it is not predictable and escapes the monotony of so many albums that just repeat the same feel with different lyrics. Influenced by a genre or two outside the country music realm, this trio offers a soulful lament with a country foundation on “Honkytonk Heaven” and an island feel on “Online Dating” without abandoning their country roots. The band pens ten of the dozen, including the genre-busting “Country Thang” and the rhyme-rapped title cut. Frankly, you’ll have difficulty putting these two cuts into a genre at all. They’re both country songs, yeah, uh, I guess, but once you get through the rap and the Cry Baby guitar licks, you’ll have a new appreciation for this group’s expansive talent. At times, you’ll hear harmonies equal to Blackhawk or Diamond Rio. At every turn, you’ll be embraced by outstanding songwriting and masterful performances. “Lonely In The Lonestar State” will even introduce you to a vocal style that will be one of the attributes setting this act apart from the rest. Having something unique is one of the necessities on the road to stardom, and the brothers’ approach and delivery on this song gives you a hint at just how distinct they can be; creating their own sound that will be easy to recognize on radio. Greg, Denny, and Mikie are The Coleman Brothers, and while the disc doesn’t reveal a ton of details about the band, you can get to know them best by attending a show and experiencing the intimate nature with which they approach their performances. This disc is produced beautifully. Each track is radio ready and the entire project is a smooth and inviting listen. They didn’t go into the studio to give fans a carbon copy of what they sing every night on stage. Nor did they go in and try to create something that could never be duplicated outside the studio. Instead, they wrapped their songs in standard and tasteful instrumentation that could, with the right personnel, be perfectly duplicated at concerts. All of that aside, The Coleman Brothers didn’t go into the studio to create art and hope the world ‘saw things their way.’ Rather, they recorded a professional product with one objective; to entertain. Mission accomplished.
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