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VIDALIAS (Buy CDs by this artist)
(melodyland) (Upstart) 1995
Stayin' in the Doghouse (Upstart) 1996

There's a pungent point to the fact that this Atlanta quintet is named for a sweet southern genus of onion: hip western swing and country rock have rarely been played or sung with such tasty tear-inducing flavor. On the band's first album, in a small-time variation on Lyle Lovett's wry charm, singer/guitarist Chuck Walston (in real life, a political reporter for an Atlanta newspaper) repeatedly takes it on the chin but still manages to hold his head high in modest, enormously appealing numbers like "Play Me for a Fool," "Loser Leave Town" and "Faking It."

[Ira Robbins]