Possessed of a deep, smooth, country-fried croon, Tom Heinl favors much the same musical turf staked out by Ray Price, but Heinl's subject matter is just a tad bit more, well, let's just say postmodern. For example, where Price may have had "Heartaches by the Number," Heinl's heartaches number only three, a hard-won discovery he shares with us in the honky-tonk lament "Three-Way." "You know it kinda turned me on when you told me one time you had a three-way," Heinl sings, backed by the requisite female choir, "and I thought that might be something I would like to try someday." Little does he suspect until it's far too late that his lady friend intends to count to trois with another guy. Elsewhere, Heinl explores joys more common, such as those to be found at IHOP and those that can be had by "Peein' in an Empty."
Heinl's new album, With or Without Me, is aptly named -- the second half of the record is the same as the first, sans vocals, so you can sing along at home, through a process Heinl calls "stereoke." Not only that, but the vocals-free half will serve as his backing band at this show.
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As every self-respecting lover of countrypolitan music can tell you in their sleep, Price is "the Cherokee Cowboy." Meet Tom Heinl, the stereoke cowboy.