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CD Review by psychologist, Dr Bruce L. Thiessen, aka Dr BLT 
CD: Self-titled 
Band: Bartenders Bible 

I met Jason Corbin, frontman for Bartenders Bible, on the patio that's sandwiched between Zingo's Café, and The Boss, the establishment's accompanying cocktail lounge.  I was performing at one of my very own HooteNOONy, a jam session, or hootenanny, that I named as such for the fact that it takes place at noon.  I was jamming with a friend of mine when Jason stopped to observe.  He looked like a musician, so I asked him to join us. 

He grabbed my guitar and started playing some Merle Haggard.  He looked and sounded like a star.  Since I had just launched the Bakersfield's Next Buck talent contest, it did occur to me that I could be looking at the next Buck Owens. 

A few minutes later, he introduced me to bandmates.  They were passing through Bakersfield where they had played a gig the night before.  They were all very friendly, affable 20-something people.  I must have had my talent scout hat on, because they offered me a free CD. 

On the cover, are three bronzed skeletons carrying luggage as they leave a ghost town skyline framed crespuscular evening light.  I tore off the packaging and threw the CD in my player.  I was immediately mesmerized by the sound.  It was laid back, like a tumbleweed, carried by a gentle breeze, blowing slowing down a country road in the middle of nowhere. 

I heard myriad influences, ranging from Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, Beck, Johnny Cash and Neil Young.  I heard the Bakersfield Sound, and I heard a little Cake. 

So sprinkle my heart with glitter 
Try not to rain on my parade 
Bury my brain in confetti 
And make her memory go away 

It was all good the first time around.  I played it again.  It was still good.  I played it again, and it was even better.  From the playful, if morbidly dark, Beckesque/Johnny Cashesque/Cakesque Confetti to Johnny Cashesque/June Carteresque duet, Fire to Burn, (which reminds me of what Ring of Fire would sound like after the fire burns out and all you've got left are the hot coals), to the clever cover of the Cash/Carter smash, Jackson, the CD cowboys up, while taking the listener on a nice, smooth horse ride. 

Jason Corbin and Arabella Harrison share the vocals, and they are a throwback to Johnny Cash and June Carter, but Arabella's voice is a little easier on the ears than June Carter's was. 

Like Cash, the band expresses their dark side and juxtaposes it with a bright spiritual light.  As a result, nobody is left in the dark and we all see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

They plan to enter my Bakersfield's Next Buck Talent Contest.  Does the band have what it takes to be Bakersfield's Next Buck Owens? 

Time will tell, but it's not too much of a stretch of the imagination. 

And, speaking of the imagination, imagine this: 

Imagine Cake without the frosting.  It still tastes good, and, and the same time, it contains fewer calories to clog the arteries.  Imagine Cash without the splash.  Imagine Young, but much younger.  If you can imagine this, you can imagine me giving this a 4 out of 5, and that's exactly the score I'm laying down. 

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