Vive le Max!

French existentialism meets its Texas cousin in the work of Dallas songwriter Max Stalling

One of the Ways was Robison's first producing venture, and Stalling had a few lingering qualms as the sessions began.

"Not knowing Bruce very well, my big fear was that he might try to overimpose his vision, maybe micromanage to the point of fiddling with the lyrics. But his influence was just the opposite, more about the overall vibe than with specific lines or words. Bruce saw the big picture; like I never had keyboards on my albums, but Bruce saw where they would work. He brought in some great players and we ended up with this lush, warm sound. He also was insistent and, as it turned out, dead right that we record 'Something to See' like a pop song, which terrified me. But that ended up being the single we sent to radio."

Max has the Ball Cap Nation crowd stalling for time as 
they try to match his skill.
Max has the Ball Cap Nation crowd stalling for time as they try to match his skill.

Details

Friday, March 28; for more information, call 713-977-1962
Firehouse Saloon, 5930 Southwest Freeway

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One of the Ways is Stalling's most poetic album, and the few Texas references in "Probably Corsicana" and the grisly Joe Ely-ish "Pila Song" occur naturally within the context of good stories rather than as calculated pandering chauvinisms that many Texas performers use as a crutch. On the strength of Wide Afternoon, Stalling has already been described as Hank Williams meets Albert Camus. While that seems like a made-to-order blurb, in the 35-year-old Stalling's case it just may apply. Not bad for an Aggie food science major with minimal education in literature and none in French.

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