Home #Hwoodtimes The Striking Authenticity of CM Talkington’s Musical Path to Texas Radio

The Striking Authenticity of CM Talkington’s Musical Path to Texas Radio

Carty Talkington, Douglas Forrest, David Mabry, Kobie Baus and Paul Leary

On his new LP entitled Texas Radio, CM Talkington’s redemptive journey is enhanced by collaborating with Renée Zellweger, who shares lead vocals with him on a honky-tonk ballad.

By John Lavitt

Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 02-22-2024

There is no doubt that CM Talkington is the real deal. From the chords of his musical progressions to the fierce honesty of his voice, Talkington takes his new LP Texas Radio on a redemptive and undeniable journey. In the record’s first single and video, “Two Steps,” he shares the spotlight with Academy-Award-winning actor Renée Zellweger. The vocals between the two close friends are playful in a profound manifestation of the word.

At its core, to play means creating meaning in the world. Children reveal their ability to evolve through exploration, imagination, and decision-making when they play. Indeed, playing is how we battle against entropy by creating value and structure. In the transcendent ballad, CM Talkington and Renée Zellweger allow their voices to intermingle with a dual sense of joy and kindness.

The beauty of the song is enhanced by the beauty of their friendship as the two talented performers relish this ability to create together. The video enhances this connection with broad smiles and the pure synchronicity of movement. Indeed, like the album, it is a moment of true spirituality that reflects a journey of redemption. Such artistic creations are rare, and they should be truly cherished.

As director Mark Pellington explains, “The video evokes a nostalgic time in Texas lore, a bygone time when people danced, and hearts soared when life was somewhat simpler and easier. The video evokes joy in this time, in the free-wheeling track, showcasing the true to life, friendship and vocal chemistry between two great friends, Carty Talkington and Renée Zellweger.” The word chemistry has never been more apropos when connected to music. However, the chemistry does not end with the single and the video.

C M Talkington, Renée Zellweger, Paul Leary

Indeed, to capture the full flavor of this creation, you need to listen to the whole album. Renée Zellweger expresses with evident passion, “The songs are an authentic and raw celebration of life and hope made in the great Austin tradition of gathering with friends to make music for the joy of it, and it feels like home. Roll the windows down. Find a long stretch of highway. Turn it up!”

CM Talkington and Renée Zellweger met each other at the beginning of their entertainment careers when he cast her in her first starring role as Starlene Cheatham in Love and a .45, an independent feature film that Talkington wrote and directed. However, the story of Texas Radio is not about a movie in the distant past. No, Texas Radio is about survival, and, as Talkington says with conviction, “This record made me a dragonfly.”

Dragonflies were the favorite insects of both Talkington and his mother because they are the insects that take the longest to metamorphose. CM Talkington has been waiting for over a quarter of a century to realize his dreams, and he had to face the grim reaper and survive to become ready to tell his tale. In 2019, while working on his first album and suffering tremendous pain, Talkington was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. The prognosis was not good. Indeed, he came so close to death during cancer treatment that he could smell the River Styx. However, he fought like a bandit to avoid taking that ride in Charon’s boat.

After barely surviving, Talkington formed his new band with Douglas Forrest, David Mabry, and Kobie Baus. At Wire Recording in Austin, Texas, they were blessed to record with Paul Leary of the seminal American punk band the Butthole Surfers as their producer. Talkington could not believe his good fortune, expressing pure gratitude:

“Making this record was like coming home for me. I’m so blessed to be with these angels…Texas Radio is more than a band. We’re a family. We’re all on a mission to improve the garden. I feel so blessed to finally make a record with these guys. It really was like coming home. Coming home to Texas. Coming home to Texas Radio. Coming home to my band of soul brothers.”

Texas Radio’s swirling blend of western psychedelic soul and modern rockabilly took over the studio in the live recording sessions. From the fiery opening of “Feed Your Soul” to the sweet reverence of “Milk Of Kindness,” the record covers so much territory of pure expression. Rather than sounding like the East Coast or the West Coast, Texas Radio digs deep into the heart of Texas, revealing the magic of that state’s storied history.

After coming so close to death, Talkington is more about creating magic than branding his music with any cookie-cutter definitions of this or that. He believes in a destiny: Allowing his soul to sing the songs and play the music he was put here on this earth to sing and play is why he survived. CM Talkington’s goal goes far beyond being “Two Steps” from loving you.

Indeed, his desire is to be two steps from loving the world and sharing his journey of redemption with every soul. Thus, the final track on this inspirational recording is entitled — “Let It Begin” — symbolizing how CM Talkington’s journey of music, expression, creativity, and love is just now getting underway. Like the realized Dragonfly, he is bursting forth into the sunlight to celebrate the songs that percolate in his soul and must be shared.

CM Talkington – Texas Radio
Spotify / Apple Music / PurchaseCM Talkington – “Two Steps”
Spotify / Apple Music / Amazon / Lyric Video / Music VideoCM Talkington – “Milk Of Kindness”
Stream / YouTube