Album Review: Stone River Boys "Love On The Dial"

Uniquely wonderful lyrics and a funky, alt-country sensibility await listeners of the Stone River Boys debut album "Love On The Dial." Indeed, the Austin, Texas band pushes the envelope and will be warmly embraced by country music aficionados as well as fans of the members' previous bands, which include the Hacienda Brothers (guitarist Dave Gonzalez), the Hollsiters (vocalist Mike Barfield) and the Paladins (Gonzalez).
The album (clocking in at about 53 minutes) begins with the rockin' "Bluebonnet Blues." The Stone River Boys label the band's music as "country funk," and the moniker really fits. The vocals have a rockabilly spirit that permeates through the entirety of the album. It's followed by the easy going "Can I Change My Mind" and the bluesy "The Struggle."

However, the album hits its stride with the classic country track "40 Acres." The vocals are pitch perfect, and the instrumentation is country music gold. "Still Feel The Feelin'" is another cut that offers passionate intensity and terrific vocals.

The country bar crowd will appreciate the honky tonk track "Special." And lovers of classic funk will be pleasantly surprised at "Boomerang" which illustrates the full range of the Stone River Boys talent.

However, the best song on the album is a more subdued affair - the alt-country love song "Martha." Radio program directors should take notice of the truly engaging lyrics and melodic chorus. Other tracks include the outlaw country cut "Think I'm Gonna Make It," the toe-tapping "Lover's Prison," the retro cool "Love On The Dial," "Take A Giant Step," the Johnny Cash-esque "Love's Gonna Make It" and the high energy "Steel City."

"Love On The Dial" takes listeners on a wild musical journey which constantly shows sparks of brilliance that highlight the Stone River Boys varied career in the music industry. In short, this is not your average debut album. In fact, the fourteen songs prove that the Stone River Boys will have to continue to love being on the radio dial for a long, long time to come.

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