national songwriter sampler

Double XX Posed (self-produced)

Various Artists

By Kevin Gibson

For those who think country music is limited to what gets played on WAMZ, a good dose of Double XX Posed might be just the elixir to cure that misconception.

This compilation of music by five songwriters/artists from all over the U.S. blends traditional country with blues, folk, and some things that defy classification.

It is unique, particularly in that the inside sleeve contains not only song lyrics, but photographs of other artistic creations by the songwriters.

Fittingly, the CD leads off with "Merci Beaucop" by Louisville native Alan Rhody, a song about the author's love for French Impressionist paintings. Not something you see every day on CMT, eh?

Tom Wesselman's offerings shine brightest. Included are his "Let Someone Hurt Her Once For Me," and "He Kept His Secret," the latter of which is true country in the tradition of George Jones' classic "He Stopped Loving Her Today."

Other standouts are Rhody's "New Maria" and John Heric's "She's Your Conscience." Jim Leedy's two cuts are reminiscent of Hank Williams-era country, while a pair of soulful, eerie songs by Fritz Scholder are memorable, but seem out of place on this disc.

All told, this collection is worth a listen, especially for those who are growing weary of the Billy Ray Cyrus generation. Let's face it: Aren't we all, just a little bit?