CD Reviews for 07/08/08 – Heybale, Chris Sprague

Compact Capsules for 7/08/08
by Dan Ferguson

The Last Country Album
Shuffle 5 Records

The one stop shop in Austin on a Sunday evening for some authentic C&W? Search no further than the esteemed venue The Continental Club for all-star band Heybale. In the slot for six years running, veryone from promenaders to two-steppers to those with a hankering to just sit, drink and listen all make it their weekend closer. The Last Country Album represents Heybale’s’s first attempt at an audience beyond A-Town lines. The dozen songs are a stellar mix of originals and covers ably showcasing the band’s highly talented ranks (guiatrist Redd Volkaert, piano man Earle Poole Ball, bassist Kevin Smith, singer Gary Claxton and drummer Tom Lewis form the core) moving smoothly from tear-in-the-beer honky tonkers to country swing. (Visit

Chris Sprague
Diesel for Two
Spinout Records SpinCD034

They brandished names like Simpson, Sovine, Curless, and Dudley. By virtue of their 1960s country mega-hits about the travails of the truck driver, they were designated “The Four Horsemen of Truckin’ Music.” With the 18- wheelin’ slab of big-bottomed twang righteousness titled Diesel for Two, Chris “Sugarballs” Sprague of Deke Dickerson’s Ecco-Fonics’ band fame goes a long ways towards cracking that noble fraternity. (Visit – Dan Ferguson

(Dan Ferguson is a free-lance music writer and host of The Boudin Barndance, broadcast Thursday nights from 6 – 9 pm on WRIU-FM 90.3. He lives in Peace Dale and can be reached at [email protected].)