The attempt to Latinize Trevino worked: dude into hombre. Spanish-language stations in and around Texas playing the Spanish version of "Just Enough Rope"--Bastante Cordon"--reported a large and effusive listener response. Ironically, the album-length, self-titled, English-language CD was sent back to the studio for reworks on several cuts (the new shipping date is February). Dos Mundos, the singer's ballad-filled, Spanish-language offering, was released last September, and continues to do well.

In his live show, Trevino delivers a bilingual mix--roughly 75 percent English and 25 percent Spanish. "Most surprising," he reports, "is the Anglo response to the Spanish-language tunes. They seem to love it." Yet Trevino shies away from such tags as "the Hispanic Garth Brooks" or the "Tex-Mex Ricky Van Shelton."

"I come out onstage like a normal 'hat' act, singing country songs and playing a guitar," he notes. "I want to put on the best show I can; I want people to come away like I did the first time I saw Garth Brooks or George Strait. To get there, I'll practice, practice, practice. I'll do every interview, I'll write all the time, I'll get out and connect," gushes Trevino.

And despite the almost-too-wholesome, aw-shucksness of this guy, you get the feeling he really does mean what he says, that he really is just a nice Texas boy. Heck, you almost expect him to use baseball as a metaphor. "Most of all, I'll take everything one day at a time," he says quietly. "Or--like baseball--one pitch at a time. And I'll always hope the ball is hit to me."

Rick Trevino will perform on Tuesday, January 25, at Toolies Country. Showtime is 8 p.m. @pq:"When I got out of high school, I had to make a serious choice--music or baseball."

KILLING YOU SOFTLY WITH HIS SONG YOU MIG... v1-20-94

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