Scamp by Jerry Jeff Walker
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Jerry Jeff Walker had the misfortune of including songs about Texas pride, cowboy hats, wild women, itinerant musicians and desert roads on Scamp
in the same year that Lyle Lovett tackled the exact same subjects on his The Road to Ensenada
. Walker does a good job of turning these subjects into rousing, upbeat sing-alongs, but his approach can only suffer in comparison to the biting humor and rich irony of Lovett's versions. When Walker shouts that "Down in Texas, life is good!" there are no secrets hidden in the straightforward lyrics and bouncy country-rock formula. And Walker's glowing, sing-song eulogy, "Manny's Hat Song," makes his late friend, the hat-maker, sound like a saint without flaws. --Geoffrey Himes