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Hillbilly Idol 

Lights of Town (Yodel-Ay-Hee)

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On its latest LP, Hillbilly Idol has patented a new strain of country music: self-help honky-tonk. "Every day is an opportunity to make our world better," singer-guitarist-banjo player Paul Kovac writes in the liner notes, and the music reflects his sunny outlook: This is traditional country on Zoloft.

Hell, even the sad songs don't sound very forlorn. "I still care if you don't care," Kovac tells an old flame early in the album. Meanwhile, "Just Another You" may be the most upbeat break-up song ever, a stirring bluegrass foot-stomper buoyed by fleet-fingered banjo-plucking and some spirited fiddle. Kovac and Al Moss, who also plays guitar and pedal steel, often swap vocal duties, and they both sing in a lively, rousing croon. At one point they even throw down a feisty polka number, which makes sense, as this band is all about countering sad eyes with happy feet.

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More by Jason Bracelin

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