Item 114 | What the Deuce?! -- Fearless Cultural Mania

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The UK Cowboy

A package landed in the Amy Grant's Mandible mailbox the other day.

Apparently, The Eagle Has Landed ... and he took a big ol' American dump. (Which he may have learned from the good ol' American buzzard, who knows?)

This eagle, however, is not American. Maybe even unAmerican. He's British, in fact: he's the "UK Cowboy," Wayne Rivers.

A few weeks ago, we heard from Jimmy Carlo, Wayno's personal pitchman, who wrote an incomprehensibly thick e-mail to Amy Grant's Mandible.

(Parenthetical question: Why would anyone think they could contact a singer by sending e-mail to a website, obviously meant to be humorous, dedicated to a singer's body part? GOOD PARENTHETICAL QUESTION.)

This guy sings with the vibrato of the "You Were Always on My Mind"-era Elvis. But the hairdo is all Wayne -- Wayne Newton, that is. Rivers does cover early Elvis ("Trying to Get to You"). Unfortunately, he sings it in the style of the later Elvis.

All the songs on the CD are covers, in fact. Some of them may be familiar to those in the audience with seriously impaired judgment. For example, Wayno does a Billy Joel cover (called "Shameless," which is appropriate for anything related to Billy Joel) with some sort of attempted twang -- you can't cope with it, believe me.

His cover of Olivia Newton-John's "Let Me Be There" is pretty straightforward, until the pedal steel kicks in with wah-wah. Yep. Merry Xmas, here's your wah-wah.

The major drawback here: no cover of Bobby Goldsboro's "Honey."

Wayno seems to have a career over there, somehow. (Though "High Energy" sounds like an expression a critic might use who is trying to say that the artist means well. And note that the most prominent blurb on his poster touts not Wayne himself, but only country music in general.)

It's fair to say that he's not much cheesier than most of the other "country" acts current these days, who wouldn't know a strawberry roan if it turned on a nickel and gave them some change.

The PR package included flyers, info sheets, & other detritus, but the coolest thing was a concert flyer advertising "THE HILARIOUS CRAZY HILLBILLYS" (sic) -- now them I'd pay to see.