Halden Wofford & the Hi*Beams

No matter how Halden Wofford & the Hi*Beams approach country, they do a damn fine job, as evidenced by Rocky Mountain Honky Tonk, the band's latest release. While the five-piece clearly excels at up-tempo cuts, such as "Beaver Hat Boogie," which features some fine steel guitar from Bret Billings, and the rollicking "Brown Mountain Slave," it also injects a bit of the Bakersfield sound into tunes like "Reclamation Day." Elsewhere, there's the Western swing of "The Only Think I Like" and the slow country of "Zombies!" The rowdy title track could easily be the theme song for Colorado's craft-beer culture; in it, Wofford rattles off names of local beers and breweries, giving a special shout-out to Oskar Blues' Mama's Little Yella Pils. And just for fun, the band offers up its own twangy take on the Grateful Dead's "Loser."

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