The first 10 cuts -- the ones that comprise the wonderful 1976album Lone Star Beer and Bob Wills Music -- are as close to perfectionas honkytonk swing gets. As I hear it again after a long separation, the album sounds as good as it did when I bought the LP version nearly a quarter-century ago and spent the next few years playing it down to the grooves. "Neons and Nylons" holds its own against any country song about drinkin', dancin', and chasin' women -- an inexplicably neglected masterpiece of hillbilly art and a surprisingly subtle evocation of both good times and melancholy reflection. "Under the X in Texas" and "Alexis from Texas" swing jauntily, and "Whatever Made Me Think" is as powerful a catch-in-the-throat country weeper as you're ever going to hear. With its brilliantly imagined and executed stripped-down sound, the album wastes not a note or a lick, and it lays end to end one magnificent song after another, reminding the listener just how good country music can be when placed in the right hands. Perhaps inevitably, Red Steagall's follow-up, included here (the last 11 cuts), is something of a letdown, a decent though hardly outstanding collection of cowboy (mostly rodeo) songs, none bad but none especially memorable; certainly none gets close to the standards Ian Tyson set long ago in his own rodeo tales, notably "Someday Soon" and "Old Cheyenne." Steagall's cover of "My Adobe Hacienda" is just plain uninspired; on the other hand, he proves that you can't go wrong with the venerable Western folk ballad "Little Joe the Wrangler." His "My America," though no "This Land Is Your Land," is better than its title would lead you to believe. Steagall's heart may be on the Western plains, but his soul is in the honkytonk.