Music Life in the slow lane

Bobby Pinson to perform at Cowboys Dancehall

If Bobby Pinson understands the pulse of small towns, it's because he had plenty of time to familiarize himself with them.

A product of the Texas Panhandle, Pinson spent his childhood moving from one sparsely populated community to another while his father took on high-school football coaching jobs. Friday Night Lights could have been the story of his family.

One of the highlights of Pinson's debut CD Man Like Me is a slice-of-life vignette called "Nothing Happens In This Town." In this song, Jimmy is perpetually stoned, the young girl down the street is six-months pregnant, and all hell is breaking loose, but as Pinson dryly observes: "That's what happens when nothing happens in this town."

Bobby Pinson

More than any traditional country artist, Pinson suggests the post-Nebraska work of Bruce Springsteen with his delight in small ironies and blue-collar storytelling. At times, his relentless sincerity can get corny, as when he thanks the Lord for redeeming his hellraising life by sending him an angel in "One More Believer," or when he closes the album with a froggy-throated take on the traditional "Jesus Loves Me." But those sentiments are an honest reflection of the lives Pinson chronicles, and you get the sense that, given the choice, he'd rather be honest than hip.

Pinson performs at Cowboys Dancehall (3030 N.E. Loop 410) on Thursday, July 14. Showtime is 8 p.m., and admission is $9 for men and free for women. Call 646-9378 for ticket info.

- Gilbert Garcia

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