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Monday, Sept. 29, 2008

Chris Barron

Pancho and the Kid

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  The second solo album from Chris Barron sounds nothing like his old band, the Spin Doctors-which is reason enough to give Pancho and the Kid a spin. But more importantly, the dozen songs reflect the image of a much more thoughtful singer/songwriter than the one who penned "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong."

  That maturity is no doubt the result of Barron's full recovery from a paralyzed vocal cord, which back in 1999 left him with a 50% chance of never speaking (let alone singing) again. Today, his voice shows no trace of the trauma.

  Strings and mandolin play key roles in these songs, most of which are laid-back affairs steeped in the roots-rock tradition. Orchestral arrangements abound and, through the lyrics' universality, Barron emerges as a more likable fellow than when he was in one of the 1990s' most ubiquitous rock bands.


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