At a recent performance, Fort Worth's Collin Herring announced that he was picking up his newest CD from the pressing plant in a matter of days. Sadly, it has been more than two years since The Other Side of Kindness, Herring's fantastic sophomore effort, set critics' tongues a-wagging with its clever blend of snarl and twang. Hopefully, the new effort will feature even more of the fiery pedal steel of Ben Roi Herring, Collin's nimble father. No Worse for the Wear, Dylan Sneed's recently released EP, features quiet but intense country/folk that comes across like Leo Kottke covering Paul Simon. Rich and rewarding, Sneed's songs have a sly humor and an offbeat charm that makes their religious underpinnings all the more convincing. "What I Thought" and "Look Inside" may at first glance appear to be generic singer-songwriter fare, but Sneed's way with melody and phrase sets him firmly in the A-list of area tunesmiths. Herring and Sneed represent the best side of true Americana: music of passion and skill that can move an audience with a whisper or a roar.
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