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dggfwtx  06/10/2006          
Milly's Cafe
This isn't one of Fred's great albums, but then, you can't go wrong with any Fred CD. There's still some great work here. The trucking song "18 Wheels" is a real standout. "Sign on the Wall," about a couple's failed tow-truck venture, is another great one. I also really like "Rocky" and "Tired." But Fred, what's up with all the *SAAAAD* cowboy songs? The title track (especially here in Texas, as it's about a couple on the run in West Texas) and "Mrs. Hank Williams" would seem destined to be the airplay songs off this disc, but I would not consider either to be among Fred's better work. This CD probably will have broader appeal than Fred's previous studio release, "Dusty," but many of the songs are along the same line, but without the funky arrangments on "Dusty." Although I like "Milly's Cafe," I just get the feeling that Fred was too entrenched in his comfort zone for this one. There's nothing that stretches his boundaries or makes you say "Wow." But it's still a nice piece of work for Fred fans to add to their collections. For newcomers (and Fred is one of the greatest songwriters EVER), I'd recommend going with either or both of the two "Official Bootleg" live releases. Fred is really at his best live rather than in the studio.

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