CD Topaz City (CD 1126423),
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Topaz City

  • 1. If Only the Good Die Young
    2. Never Need to Fall in Love Again
    3. Topaz City
    4. Ping Pong, Pool
    5. Lank & Lonesome & Low & Loose at Both Ends
    6. Skyview Cabaret
    7. Lonely Days
    8. If It's Up to Me
    9. Don't Fall Alone
    10. Goodnight Never Meant Goodbye
    11. How Blue Can You Go?
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 50005

  • Credits
    ProducerR.S. Field
    EngineerJames Calloway; Richard McLaurin

    Personnel: Max Stalling (vocals); Dale Clark (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, gut-string guitar, hand claps); Marty Muse (steel guitar, dobro); Richard McLaurin (lap steel guitar); R.S. Field (resonator guitar, shaker, tambourine, hand claps, percussion); Chris Carmichael (mandolin, fiddle); Steve Conn (accordion, piano); Bukka Allen (piano, Fender Rhodes piano, organ, Wurlitzer organ); Brad Fordham (acoustic bass, electric bass).
    Audio Mixer: Richard McLaurin.
    Recording information: House Of David, Nashville, TN; Premium Recording Services, Austin, TX.
    Photographer: Allison Smith.
    A long tall Texan with a voice like George Strait (and, oddly, a distinct facial resemblance to Brian Eno, of all people), south Texas native Max Stalling has maintained a low-profile but steady career in the neo-traditionalist country scene for several years, but Topaz City is his potential breakthrough. Stalling's three previous albums were rough-edged D.I.Y. affairs, but the more polished Topaz City, his first album recorded with an outside producer in a proper studio, adds just enough of a Nashville gloss to make the pure country tunes sound a little more like something that might actually get played on contemporary country radio. Opening track "If Only the Good Die Young" throws percussion and a subtle mariachi trumpet into the mix, for example. However, even with the hook line "If only the good die young, I might live forever," the tone isn't hell-raising rebellion la Waylon Jennings, but a more Randy Travis style of suburban-Texas gentility. Stalling has a voice for ballads, so much so that even a playful 2-step like the lyrically tongue-twisting "Ping Pong, Pool" has an easygoing sway. This is not country that rocks, but rather, country that sounds best on a too-warm, humid night out on the porch. ~ Stewart Mason

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