Texas Platters by Raoul Hernandez
"I don't do dope; I don't drink wine. I likes to play ... It's cheaper that way," croons Bad Livers banjo master Danny Barnes on the title track of his solo debut for Dave Matthews' label, ATO. "Basically it's all elemental: Us Southern boys are sentimental." So much so that Pizza Box dishes "TSA" even more romantic ("my baby's she's working for the TSA"), the now-Pacific Northwester's tart vocals almost as pointillistic as his picking, percussion big and roomy beneath him ("with her hair in a bun, her hand on her gun, we made love with the radio on"). Completing the tender triptych is "Overdue," while "Charlie" evokes the Peanuts gallery of "You're a good man, Charlie Brown" with an equally funny, homespun tale of a part-time speed freak. Pizza Box flies the freak flag all right, adapting truisms into musical stakes à la "Broken Clock," which leans to classic country ("even a broken clock gets right twice a day"). Paddleboat twang in Barnes' hands ("Caveman") makes bluegrass a plantation ramble of trailer-park proportions.