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Madison King

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There's little doubt that the area's country scene is dominated by honky-tonkers of the male persuasion. Dallas' Madison King is looking to make a dent in that equation. Judging by the sterling results of her debut full-length, Darlin, Here's To You, it's clear that she's got the chops to do it.

To be clear: There are plenty of area songstresses who politely dabble in country but still lean towards folk and indie. King makes no mistake of her affiliation. Tunes such as the deep-fried "Whiskey in the Morning" suggest that King could kick the shit out of anyone who inadvertently makes her spill her beer at Adair's. While often rebellious, though, the album's not all drinking and sinning. King displays a deft touch for shifting down into somber longing when need be. "But For Now" comes off like a tune that young Lucinda Williams wishes she had written back in '70s Austin. And yet it's in ".44," when King sings "Don't sell a .44 to a girl with tears in her eyes," that we're given the strongest sign of how a badass can have an equally tender heart.

The start of a feminine charge through the swinging doors of saloons on both sides of the Red River? Just maybe.

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