The Gougers, A Long Day for the Weathervane

Note: The following artist performs Saturday or Sunday during the Big State Festival at Texas World Speedway, 17529 State Highway 6, College Station. Besides music, events include stock-car racing, a barbecue cook-off, mechanical bull riding, camping and more. Visit or call 512-888-7469 for tickets and/or further information.

The first track on A Long Day for the Weathervane prepares listeners for an alt-rock experience, as Gougers lead vocalist Shayne Walker sings the slow, strutting, Tom Petty-like "Manheim Station." Then, just when you've become acquainted with Walker, Jamie Wilson — whose voice on many tracks, especially "Everybody Knows," is a dead ringer for Natalie Merchant's — steps in. The Gougers continue to switch back and forth between Wilson and Walker, between slowed-down alt-country and more upbeat alt-rock, causing a bit of aural seasickness.The CD as a whole is not entirely cohesive, but there are some successes. The most gripping track, "Michael," beautifully showcases both cello and the depth and originality Wilson's voice can achieve when paired with the right mood and lyrics; when Walker and Wilson play off each other, as on "It'll Get Better," a nice balance is reached. Undoubtedly still in the early stages of cementing their career, The Gougers will have a lot to choose from when the time comes to define their sound.

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