Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Stoney Edwards: Blackbird [Capitol, 1976]
In which well-meaning producer Chip Taylor provides Edwards with a wonderful title tune about "a couple of country niggers/Stealin' the rodeo" while nudging him in a rockish, folkish direction, probably in the belief that he has a better shot at an audience over there. The results are hardly disgraceful, though Joe Cocker didn't get away with six minutes worth of "Bird on a Wire" either. But the straight country album Edwards did last year was a lot tougher. When people in Nashville get serious, they have a tendency to fall for pretentious schmaltz--that's the story of Mickey Newbury's life. A lot of this, straight country and folkish-rockish both, is too damn close to the edge. B+