When country fans discuss Texas artists, they often limit themselves to the renegade stars, such as Willie and Waylon, who abandoned Nashville, and the songwriters, Townes van Zandt, Jerry Jeff Walker, Guy Clark, Kris Kristofferson and Billy Joe Shaver who defined Texas country song. But there’ve been a couple more generations of Lone Star singer-songwriters, and as the music’s grown within the state, many artists, including Pat Greene, Cory Morrow, Kevin Fowler and Jack Ingram have initiated, and in several cases sustained, careers within the state’s borders. Texas is a big place, and touring the honky-tonks, clubs, frat houses and bars promoting independently recorded albums can be a full-time job.
The music of these road-warriors is built for dance floors and summer fairs, with two-step rhythms and electric guitars whose twang mate country and rock ‘n’ roll without crossing over to the pop of Nashville, and vocals that invite audiences to share in clever lyrics of familiar situations. Nick Verzosa fits neatly into this tradition, with songs of lost love, broken relationships, new love, summer days and Texas delights. It’s standard fair, but Verzosa’s a convincing singer, and together with producer Walk Wilkins he’s crafted a compelling album whose songs will charm a Saturday-night crowd at Gruene Hall, and whose closing “7th Year Senior” is surely a favorite on Texas’ many frat rows. [©2012 hyperbolium dot com]