Love On The Dial  Cow Island CIM016 Bluebonnet Blue - Can I Change My Mind - The Struggle - Think I'm Gonna Make It - Lovers Prison - 40 Acres - Love On The Dial - Still Feel The Feeling - Special - Take A Giant Step - Love's Gonna Make It - Martha - Steel City - Boomerangs
The origin of the Stone River Boys can be traced back when Dave Gonzales teamed up with Mike Barfield (ex-Hollisters) to play some gigs in the memory of Chris Gafney, his friend and partner in the Hacienda Brothers. It seems that both of them liked what they did together and they decided to continue and go beyond the tribute thing.
Love On The Dial is their debut album released by the fine folks at Cow Island known for their impeccable taste. Gonzales and Barfield have gathered a cast of some of the finest Austin musicians including Dave Biller (Wayne Hancock, Dale Watson and many more) on steel, Kevin Smith (High Noon, Dwight Yoakam, The Derailers) on bass, Scott Esbeck (Los Straitjackets), Hank Maninger (Hacienda Brothers, Johnny Dilks) and Damian Llanes (Nick Curran).
The first two tracks are reminiscent of the style of the Hacienda's blend of country soul, as if the Stone River Boys would salute the memory of their friend one last time before moving onto their own thing which they do with Barfield's own "The Struggle" and let their own brand of country funk speaks. Imagine if James Brown had cut an album at Owen Bradley's studio, the result wouldn't be far from the Gonzales-Barfield partnership. There are many more country-funk gems like this on this album, one of the best being the title track, mostly penned by Barfield (who's been nicknamed the tyrant of Texas funk! - try to get his solo albums too). His deep and rich voice also allows him to perform straight country numbers like the Bakersfield tinged "Lovers Prison". A Dave Biller's instrumental rounds up the set.
A groovy album hotter than the Texas sand.