Step Right Up

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
The world Charlie Robison documents on his powerful sophomore album is not always pretty, but it sure is moving. It's a world where well-meaning, small-town folks trying to get a leg up in life find themselves somehow undermined, and where situational ethics and looking out for No. 1 tend to prevail over fidelity and friendship. The landscape here is defined by the gritty Texan's ragged, world-weary voice; a roiling fusion of hard country and guitar-driven rock; and populist sympathies. "Desperate Times," a tale of love, crime, and betrayal that plays out over a merciless, white-hot rock arrangement, recounts how an honest cop turns to robbery to make ends meet and then ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
The world Charlie Robison documents on his powerful sophomore album is not always pretty, but it sure is moving. It's a world where well-meaning, small-town folks trying to get a leg up in life find themselves somehow undermined, and where situational ethics and looking out for No. 1 tend to prevail over fidelity and friendship. The landscape here is defined by the gritty Texan's ragged, world-weary voice; a roiling fusion of hard country and guitar-driven rock; and populist sympathies. "Desperate Times," a tale of love, crime, and betrayal that plays out over a merciless, white-hot rock arrangement, recounts how an honest cop turns to robbery to make ends meet and then is ratted out by the wife who had spurred him on in the first place. The remarkable and touching country ballad "Wedding Song" features Robison and Dixie Chick Natalie Maines in a startling prenup dialogue, each admitting "whether I ever loved you is not perfectly clear" and basically accepting, a priori, a suburban life of low expectations. Steve Earle, Guy Clark, and Bruce Springsteen are the obvious touchstones here, but Robison is not imitating anyone -- he's the real deal.
All Music Guide - Michael Cusanelli
There was once a time when one could easily identify the roots of country music. English, German, French, Irish, and even African-American influences came together to create this genre. Charlie Robison and his music reflect that time, but he is in no way merely referencing a purer time. He has learned lessons from his ancestors and has truly made his own sound. His rugged good looks and obvious intelligence could easily make him a poster boy for alternative country, but a deeper listen to his third release Step Right Up will reveal much more than a pretty face. The lyrics range from tender to biting to brutal and are delivered with an honesty and wit lost throughout today's country charts. Songs about murder, robbery, and stale love capture the imagination of the listener while always being thoughtful and compassionate. Robison collected a large and varied group of musicians to make this record. Notables include his brother Bruce Robison who contributes his words and his voice, session legend Jim Lauderdale who sings backing vocals, and Robinson's wife Emily Robison Dixie Chicks who plays banjo on several tracks. Robison is telling stories in his songs more than he is conveying feelings or desires. This too is a lost tradition from what was country music. "Desperate Times" chronicles the life of a lost Texas youth, and "John O'Reilly" oozes Irish influence with the story of an immigrant in Depression-era America. The album also includes a funny yet sadly true duet with Dixie Chick Natalie Maines called "The Wedding Song." Ultimately, Charlie Robison's Step Right Up demonstrates that sometimes an alternative is where it started in the beginning.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/1/2008
  • Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
  • UPC: 886972436920
  • Catalog Number: 724369
  • Sales rank: 126,541

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Right Man for the Job (3:11)
  2. 2 The Preacher (4:03)
  3. 3 I Want You Bad (2:36)
  4. 4 Desperate Times (5:46)
  5. 5 The Wedding Song - Natalie Maines (4:30)
  6. 6 Sweet Inspiration (4:14)
  7. 7 John O'Reilly (3:32)
  8. 8 Tonight (4:46)
  9. 9 One in a Million (4:13)
  10. 10 It Comes to Me Naturally (3:02)
  11. 11 Rain (5:23)
  12. 12 Life of the Party (3:44)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Charlie Robison Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocals
Jim Lauderdale Background Vocals
Joe Chemay Background Vocals
Rich Brotherton Acoustic Guitar, Mandolin, Mandola
Pat Buchanan Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Papoose
Gene Elders Fiddle
David Grissom Electric Guitar, Baritone, 12-string Guitar, Guitar (Baritone)
Anthony Martin Background Vocals
Marty Muse Steel Guitar, Lap Steel Guitar
Riley Osborne Organ, Piano, Clavinet, farfisa organ
Mark Patterson Drums
Bruce Robison Background Vocals
Mark Rubin Tuba
Robby Turner Steel Guitar, Lap Steel Guitar
John Ludwick Bass, Bass Guitar
Kevin Carroll Acoustic Guitar
Emily Robison Banjo
Richard Bowden Fiddle
Technical Credits
Terry Adams Composer
Derek Bason Engineer
Blake Chancey Producer
Carlos Grier Digital Editing
Kyle Lehning Engineer
Denny Purcell Mastering
Charlie Robison Producer
Chris Rowe Engineer
Bill Johnson Art Direction
Melanie Shelley Groomer
Joe Hayden Engineer
Tracy Baskette-Fleaner Art Direction
Tony Castle Engineer, Digital Editing
Phil Crandon Composer
Eric Conn Digital Editing
Mel Eubanks Engineer
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    If you're fed up with pop country...

    Well, if you're fed up with pop country like i am then buy step right up. one highlight track on this album is 'john o'reily' which blends some irish folk with charlie's own style... i wouldn't call charlie country i dont guess... i like him better than alot of other stuff they play on the radio... i think 'the wedding song' is probably a more accurate depiction of marriage alot of times than other depictions of utopian marriages i've heard... it talks about how the dude ain't real happy and how the girl wasn't ready for that commitment but how they're both gonna get by.... and charlie actually is a story teller with his songs and that is something i think country should be more about... oh yeah and he writes his own stuff... charlie is a modern day merle haggard he puts that outlaw sound we all used to love back in country but his music is still balanced i mean it's not all about breaking the law.. and he definitely has his own personal sound too... so if you like merle and george and roger and all the real good stuff then i guess this cd's for you. but if you just like country because it's real nice sweet sounding music then i wouldn't waste my time - that's my review

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews