City Country Boy

Terry Leon is a Paradise guitar player who has gathered together a decent lineup of local country talent to produce this solid, if not outstanding, CD. Singing heartfelt songs of love, rejection and ramblin', the High Lonesome Angels are probably best listened to while staring out a rainy window with nothing but a bottle of bourbon for company.

Pete Grant, a Sacramento musician who once played with the Grateful Dead, is a standout on the album, playing pedal steel guitar in a weepy, soulful way that backs up Leon’s twangy vocals.

One thing you can say about Leon is that he isn’t going for that annoying “New Country” sound that so many of the genre’s artists have turned to. This is straight-up, crying-in-your-beer, quarter-in-the-jukebox kind of stuff, and while the recording itself has a couple of barely noticeable rough patches, the album holds up well when paired against most of the goofy, lame-brained junk that passes for country music these days.

Leon also fronts for another traditional country act, Leon and the Mustangs, who seem to be making the rounds on the local casino circuit lately. So if you liked country music the way it was played before Garth Brooks and his ilk got a hold of it, go see Terry Leon.