FEW people can lay claim to having a song written about them by Dolly Parton, let alone a song subsequently murdered by Whitney Houston and featured in a Kevin Costner film. The 79- year- old pompadoured troubadour Porter Wagoner can confidently claim this dubious distinction. A regular fixture on The Porter Wagoner Show, Parton went on to write I Will Always Love You after the embittered break- up with the host and duet partner, famous for his vertigo- inducing quiff and lavender Nudie suits. With a holler from producer Marty Stuart that heralds the latest release from Wagoner, Wagonmaster sets the tone from the outset for a trip through a few oldies and favourites. Those expecting covers of Depeche Mode or Neil Diamond songs on this comeback album may be a little disappointed. There are no cute tricks here, just straight up country and western — the way it used to be before the big hats rolled in. The harrowing Johnny Cash- penned Committed to Parkview stands out as a highlight, though there is much to enjoy here. With its spoken intros and outros it has the feel of an old- time Nashville radio or television show.
Wagonmaster Porter Wagoner ANTI/ Shock