Real Country Music
Straight Up Country
She Don’t Miss Me Anymore/Straight Up Country (with Jason Allen)/ God Fearin’ Man/ Cowboys Cry
Producer: Eric Paul
Wynnesong Records WS1103
The press materials that came with the record indicate that the twenty four year old
Expecting a degree of authenticity based on his background, and hoping that he drew well from his influences, I put the disc in, only to find something a bit less than what I had hoped.
Joel did make sure to bring in A-list musicians and delivers in a voice clear and strong. But the songs, and thus the project as a whole, sound like stuff you heard before.
About the choices, I point to the legacies of the 90’s stars listed above. The music they made (excluding Clint Black’s first album and Joe Diffie’s “Is It Cold In Here?”) besides not aging well, led to the likes of Daryle Worley. Worley’s notoriety has always puzzled me; his catalogue is typically trite and at times even boring.
What this has to do with
This track, “She Doesn’t Miss Me Anymore”, follows Worley’s way of taking an idea and only doing an OK job with it. It tells of a man who is always out while his woman waits in tears, but thanks to some kind of an awakening he’s at home now and now she doesn’t miss him anymore. Kim Williams and Larry Williams are also listed as writers. Remember them form the Garth years?
“Straight Up Country” is intended to define Joel as being nothing but country. It does swing a bit more than most releases these days, but list all the things he likes in a way that pales to Easton Corbin’s “I’m A Little More Country Than That.”
“God Fearin Man” probably serves as my favorite track maybe only because it made me have to consult the Bible to make sure I remembered Ephesians. The song tells of a man that claims to be religious but at the same time has a wife that is scared of him. “A God Fearin Man shouldn’t have a man fearin wife…”
I would thing from the selection that
“Cowboys Cry” finishes the EP. It again sounds like something you heard before. In this the singer has come to the end of a relationship and wants to make sure that he “turns to the wind and ride because girls don’t wanna see a cowboy cry”. Of course this notion has been done and done again.
So….what we are left with is an artist who has a strong voice and can probably deliver a great album. Hopefully, the next go around he will stay away from songs that (even if his influences had cut them) do not stand up to much scrutiny. With a better batch of songs, and maybe another year or two under his belt, Joel may just make something that won’t leave my player.
I wonder about his live shows? I think I’ll check his schedule………