riety of styles here, all held together seam- lessly by the vocal prowess of Keb Mo. “I Re- member You,” is another good one, as is Keb’s plea for equality, “Put a Woman in Charge,” featuring guest singer Roseanne Cash.

“This is My Home” has it all, beautiful

finger picking, meaningful lyrics, and a great vocal. It’s one of the highlights of the album. Then again, so is the title track, “Oklahoma,” featuring guest Robert Randolph on lap steel guitar. Speaking of guest artists, none other than Taj Mahal adds bass and vocal hoodoo to “Don’t Throw it Away,” a New Orleans fla- vored call for recycling. “The Way I” is another beautiful tune

dealing with battling depression. Just lovely. Every song here is fresh. It’s Keb Mo’s M.O. to write about issue that concern him around the time of recording, and this album covers many of the issues facing us at present. Okla- homa is nothing less thn fine album from one of our finest Americana artists.

-Michael Buffalo Smith

Stray Cats 40 (Surfdog)

For their 40th an-

niversary, Brian Setzer, Lee Rocker and Slim Jim Phantom dish out their first new material since 1992, and it is nothing short of bril- liant. These tunes are as hot as their first two al-

bums. I was thinking it might sound like an- other Brian Setzer solo record but nope. Slim Jim and Lee are on their game just as hot as ever. I’ll go as far as to say this one ranks in my top two Stray Cats albums of all time, no kidding. Rockabilly never sounded better, from “Cat Fight (Over a Dog Like Me)” to “I

Attract Trouble” to the instrumental “Desper- ado” the Cats sound slick. After all these years, Setzer has become twice the guitar piker he used to be, and he was pretty damned great then! The Cats sound the same, albiet a little louder and heavier. Honestly, the songs on 40 belong right on the list of classic Cats- “Rock This Town,” and “Stray Cat Strut.” What sets this one apart from pre- vious Stray Cat reunions is the song quality and all three men getting back to the spirit of what they love. Good ol’ rock and roll.

-Michael Buffalo Smith

Billy Crain Color Blind (Indie)

Most of us know

Billy as a former member of the Out- laws a well as the Henry Paul Band, and for being the brother of the late Tommy Crain. A few years ago, Billy began releasing

self-produced solo albums at the rate of about one a year. He has produced some mighty good records, and Color Blind is one of his finest to date. Billy records songs that would be right

at home on a contemporary Christian album, and mixes them in with an aray of excellent southern rock tunes. Never try to put Billy Crain in a box, folks. He writes about what- ever is on his mind, whether it be God, family, love, the earth or rock and roll. It makes for a fine mix of tunes every time. On this outing, he had me at “hello”

with the opening track, “T. Petty,” a fine trib- ute to Petty that name drops Petty album and song titles, and utilizes a musical style that could have come from Tom himself. It truly is a fine salute. “American Idols” takes a hard look at

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