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Kenny Rogers / 21 Number Ones

Kenny Rogers

21 Number Ones (Capitol)

http://www.kennyrogers.com

With the passing of Kenny Rogers, several of his compilation CD’s are back on the charts. 21 Number Ones is a pretty good one, covering his hit material from the 1970’s, into the early 80’s.

“The Gambler”,”Lady” and “She Believes in Me” are all here, freshly remastered. Also included, are his smash-hit duets, “We’ve Got Tonight,” with Sheena Easton, and “Islands In The Stream,” with Dolly Parton.

With 21 tracks in all, it’s hard to imagine that you could want more, unless you’re looking for his early tracks with First Edition. Kenny Rogers was one of country music’s biggest crossover successes, and his his gravelly baritone will be missed.

D.P.

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Quick Spins

Little Big Town/Nightfall

Little Big Town

Nightfall (Capitol)

http://www.littlebigtown.com

One of my pet peeves about modern country music is the subject-matter death-grip it’s got on; trucks, tailgating, partying by the river, partying on the river, tractors, worn bluejeans, and drinkin’. I’ve even scanned song names on the backs of CD’s before, and found more than one of these subjects covered. Surely, there must be more to rural life.

On their latest, Little Big Town produces not one, but TWO drinking songs in “Over Drinking” and “Wine, Beer, Whiskey.” The problem? They’re both so well-written and catchy, that they’ve been on repeat play in my brain for two days now. The Fleetwood Mac-inspired “Nightfall” is a stellar single, and “Sugar Coat” is a heartbreaker of a ballad that puts a lump in my throat every time I hear it. Highly recommended.

D.P.