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it Through this World
Artist: Greg Trooper
Label: Sugar Hill
“Dream Away the Blues” opens this disc, and offers some insight of what to expect from Greg Trooper: southern rock/blues with a hint of New Orleans. Trooper himself lists his heroes as Otis Redding, Hank Williams, and Bob Dylan. If imitation is the sincerest from of flattery, then Redding and company should be well pleased.
Equal parts Otis Redding, a more coherent Dylan, and Robbie Robertson (The Band), Trooper’s Make it Through this World_is a romp through roots rock and a Southern feel that recalls the Muscle Shoals heyday. “Lonesome for You Now” could be a Randy Newman outtake and “When I Think of My Friends” is so obviously Dylan-inspired that Trooper may owe royalties.
“Make it Through this World”, the title cut, mixes the sounds of John Prine and Audible Sigh-era Vigilantes of Love, along with Dylan’s Traveling Wilburys songs. “I Love It When She Lies” portrays a man utterly in love, fearful of losing it, and wanting to believe his love when she “tells me that we’ll always be/together for eternity.”
Sugar Hill may be the best label no one knows about – with artists like Trooper, Nickel Creek, Reckless Kelly, and Tim O’Brien in their stable, it is a wonder that some mega-conglomerate hasn’t come along and thrown millions of dollars at them. Let us hope that doesn’t happen – Greg Trooper may find a limited audience, but it is better than getting swept under the rug by some AOR man who, in the words of Tom Petty, “doesn’t hear a single”. Make it Through This World is tremendously good.
Brian A. Smith