Arts » Noise

Ben Bullington

Satisfaction Garage

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So many of the best country songs are about Texas, Tennessee or West Virginia, including "Country Roads," "Rocky Top," "Luckenbach, Texas," and a gazillion others. Montana and Wyoming just don't get the same kind of love—at least not in a high-profile way—even though they could easily be the landscape for songs about rough characters and rambling roads.

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Thank goodness for Ben Bullington. The singer-songwriter hasn't written anything big, yet, but his songs about the Northwest's wide-open spaces have the potential to hit Nashville charts. On Satisfaction Garage the White Sulphur Springs musician (and family practice doctor) hits notes with the same gritty ease as Kris Kristofferson or Bruce Springsteen with tracks like "The Engineer's Dark Lover." The album's strength is in the stories: songs of ponderosa pine on the Cheyenne Range, the road from Kanesville to Pray, Mont. and the way Clear Channel comes across the waves "like a weak cup of coffee when you wanted a strong one."

Bullington keenly delivers solid tunes. He also has good people on his side: The album features country great Rodney Crowell and Nashville multi-instrumentalist Fats Kaplin, who's played for Garth Brooks and Waylon Jennings. Bullington should have Montana on the country map any day now.

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