Heart Of Texas Records holds the line against the carpetbagger forces of “modern” country music, producing the kind of country best played on honky tonk jukeboxes and the radios of American-made pickups. These three discs are among the best and most typical of the label’s recent releases from a roster of mostly-veteran country artists.
Like most of H.O.T.R.’s releases, these feature the label’s crackerjack house band, notably guitar player Charley Walton, whose Texas-swing-based licks are reason enough to check out The Survivors (Tony Booth, Darrell McCall, and Curtis Potter, who made his Grand Ole Opry debut at the age of 70) and Dottsy discs. Likewise steel player Jim Lossberg, whose playing would justify co-billing with Digby and Trevino, who style themselves after duos like George Jones and Tammy Wynette (“After The Fire Is Gone”). With Digby’s strong, pretty voice, they also hearken to early Porter and Dolly. Dottsy is an alto-voiced torch singer in the vein of Lynn and Connie Smith. She puts Lossberg on drums and another ﬁne player, Dicky Overby (Dottie West, Ronnie Milsap), on steel. The players are more than up to it, which means there’s a lot to be said for these discs – and most of H.O.T.R.’s real country music – making them a sure country thing.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s July ’11 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.