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Wednesday, September 29, 1999
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 27


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Ready and Willin' Jon Randall releases new set


Willin'

Jon Randall
Eminent Records
11 songs, 49 min

Grade A+


By Christine McCreary
Daily Cougar Staff 

"Just a kid from Texas in an old Mustang ... set out with a plan ... he had a song to sing ..."

-- Jon Randall

Contemporary country singer Jon Randall is back with yet another CD titled Willin', scheduled for release soon on Eminent Records.

The Dallas-raised Randall relocated to Nashville as a teen to pursue his country music career. He got his foot in the door at age 20 playing with Emmylou Harris' rocking band the Nash Ramblers.

After years of experience with country talents like Trisha Yearwood, Curtis Young and James Stroud, Randall made his solo debut in late 1998 with Cold Coffee Morning (Elektra/Asylum).

Randall's latest album Willin' opens with the catchy tune "Baby Make The Sun Go Down," which features drummer Harry Stinson and Randy Stewart vocally harmonizing with Randall's tenor-like vocals and Southern drawl.

Throughout Willin', Randall experiments with different moods, from peppy and upbeat to lonesome, sensitive and heartbroken.

"Afraid of the Dark" is about the fear of heartbreak, as Randall shows his sensitive side: "It's not that I'm so scared of losing / It's not that I fear a broken heart / But I like to see the road I'm choosing / I guess I'm afraid of the dark."

The following track, "Sweet Lorretta," shifts emotional gears as it plays a 1950s ballad-like rhythm with Brent Truitt on a B-3 organ. "Sweet Lorretta" is the perfect song for slow dancing.

"Walk The Line" has a more Southern blues-like flavor comparable to that of Stevie Ray Vaughan. Even the lyrics are bluesy: "I once knew a girl with big blue eyes / She loved to cut me down to size / I left her in Texas on the side of the road / Now she's out in L.A. digging for gold." 

But it's Randall's soft side that shines, especially on "Blew Me Away," with beautiful harmonies from Kim Richey. This song is sure to create goose bumps and perhaps even teary eyes.

In all, Willin' captures an amazing variety of emotions and is destined to mark Randall's name on the map alongside other talented contemporary country artists.
 

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