Kelly-Willis-and-Bruce-Robison-M-Review-No25KELLY WILLIS & BRUCE ROBISON

Cheater’s Game


Willis and Robison may be new duet partners, but they have no less chemistry than country music’s classic pairs Johnny and June and Dolly and Porter. The husband-and-wife duo’s first album features seven stellar tunes written or co-written by Robison and a half-dozen by Dave Alvin, Razzy Bailey and Hayes Carll. As Robison’s loping Texas singer-songwriter sound combines with Willis’ classic country and rockabilly leanings, shades of ’70s country shine through. Robison’s a top-notch interpreter capable of tackling the rollicking trucker tune “Born to Roll” and nailing the awkward charm of Robert Earl Keen Jr.’s “No Kinda Dancer.” Whether singing about highways or heartaches, Willis and Robison have a crackling chemistry that can’t be faked or denied. –Juli Thanki


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