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Wednesday 10 December 2014

December 2014

In the run up to Christmas, we’ve a bumper bundle of great music to tell you about in this issue.
Let’s start off with the homegrown releases.

JACQUI SHARKEY grew up in Glasgow, but is based in West Donegal these days. After great reviews for her last album “A New Dawn”, Jacqui is back with “Love And Other Things”, which was produced by Manus Lunny from Capercaille.
Jacqui’s rich warm vocals are often compared to Anne Murray, but Jacqui makes no concessions on this album. There’s no Anne Murray songs. There are four that she has written herself. “My Perfect Storm” is a beautiful song (co-written with Ian Smith), which instantly caught my attention.  The pairing also wrote “Remember Who You Are”, which had quite a folky feel to it.  Other originals include “Pretty Words”, which was a single for Jacqui some months back.  
There are also covers of the Nanci Griffith/Tom Russell hit “Outbound Plane” , the James Taylor/Carole King classic “You’ve Got A Friend”, Mary Chapin’s’ “I Was a Bird” and the traditional “The Water Is Wide”.  One interesting cover was “Tell These Hands”, written by Australian singer Sara Storer. It’s quite a light upbeat number, which showed a different side to Jacqui.
Jacqui cut her musical roots while at University in Glasgow.  She’s another wonderful Scottish talent which we’ve let go home to Ireland.
She’s a lovely singer, and “Love And Other Things” is a lovely album to have in your collection.

Someone else who has taken the same path as Jacqui is LISA McHUGH. Lisa grew up in Glasgow, but moved over to Donegal to pursue her musical career, and it has certainly paid off for her. She has quickly become one of the busiest and most popular entertainers on the Irish Country scene. And she has spread her wings lately, by branching out into TV presentation, with her own series on Irish TV.
No wonder it’s taken 2 ½ years to get time to release her third major album, “A Life That’s Good” (Sharpe Music).
The album features a bright mix of Country, old & new, a little bit of pop, and even a couple of Irish tunes.
There are three of Lisa’s recent singles here, “Hey I’m A Woman”, “Applejack” and the current radio hit “Hillbilly Girl”. There’s covers of Trisha Yearwood’s “She’s In Love With The Boy” , Shania’s “Any Man Of Mine” and even Roy Acuff’s classic “Night Train To Memphis”, (athough, very much based on Dolly Parton’s version) which is one of the stand out tracks.
The title track comes from the Nashville TV series soundtrack, written by Ashley Monroe & Sarah Siskind, and there’s also songs from Kasey Musgraves, John Legend, and even Taylor Swift !
Lisa co-wrote “Hey, I’m a Woman” and also wrote “Left To Love”, a beautiful ballad that stands out on a largely uptempo album. I hope it proves to be a winner, and encourages Lisa to further her writing.
The two Irish numbers are the rousing “Ireland” written by New Jersey born Americana artist Greg Trooper, and the ever popular “Home To Donegal”, which she does an exceedingly warm version of.
It’s been a while coming, but well worth the wait. Another winner from Lisa McHugh!

One of the first Country albums that you should seek out in 2015 is from a young Glasgow guy called DANIEL MEADE.  His first album, “As Good As Bad Can Be”, got rave reviews since it’s release in 2013.  That led to several impressive gigs with the likes of Sturgill Simpson and most recently, The Old Crow Medicine Show. Daniel headed for Nashville back at the start of the year, and came back with a superb album, “Keep Right Away” (From The Top Records), which is released January 19th.
All the tracks are self penned, with a couple of co-writes.  Daniel’s style is old style Country with a superb modern approach. He has been likened to Hank Williams, Jerry Lee, Justin Townes Earle and The Old Crow Medicine Show. I’d throw in BR549 and Junior Brown for good measure. That should give you an idea of what to expect from Daniel.
The album kicks off with the uptempo radio single “Long Gone Wrong”, which has already received Radio 2 national airplay.
In the main, the album is upbeat, with tracks like the title track, “Rising River Blues”, “Trying” and  “Livin’ On Tootsie Time”.
“Not My Heart Again”, another feel good number which bridges classic Country honky tonk with a bluegrass beat, features some smart harmonies from Shelby Colvin. There’s also a duet with singer songwriter Diana Jones, “Help Me Tonight”, which is one the slowest songs on the album. Their voices work well together and really shows another side of Daniel.
“Sometimes A Fool’s The Last To Know”, is another ballad which stands out. Pure Country.
There’s a false start to “Sing It Loud”, which features Joshua Hedley. It really ads to the live atmosphere that comes over on the album. It’s a rowdy homage to the way Country music was once loved.
Daniel may be turning the clock back to a time when Country was Country. But I’m all for that. It’s already a strong contender for my Album of the Year 2015.  A stunning album.

MARTHA L HEALY is a Glasgow singer songwriter who is going to catch our attention, following the release of her album “Better Days”, which was recorded in Nashville.
As an advance to the album, Martha has the “Better Days EP (Unplugged) doing the rounds.   It features 5 tracks. There’s quite a variety of material, which really shows this little lady’s vocal talent .
“Enough” is a nice acoustic opener, whilst the closing track, “Healin’ Wind is even more simply arranged.  “Shame” is a strong painful ballad, made all the more effective by some neat harmonica. “13 Hours”, another ballad, has a strong Country feel to it.
But just to show her variety, Martha hits the bottle on ”Vodka”, a song written by Carrie Newcomer. There are several songs on the same theme, but Martha really delivers on this uptempo morning after post mortem. Great song, some really nice instrumentation, and really catchy.
I was really impressed with Martha’s vocal style. We’re gonna hear a lot more of her.
Her album release party was at Glasgow’s Grand Ole Opry on St.Andrews night, and we’ll review it fully in the next issue.

DEAN OWENS is one of Scotland’s most respected singer songwriters and modern Country troubadours. He found his feet playing with The Felsons, but is very much established as a solo artist these days.
His latest release, which came out just in time for Remembrance Day, is a 4 track EP called “No Man’s Land”. The lead track, which is supported by a You Tube video, “Closer To You”, was inspired by the story of a soldier returning from the front writing to his loved one about how it gets harder to be away from home the closer you get to returning, Dean has written a song that poignantly describes the emotions of those at war and those they love.
There are three further war themed songs and with a stunning cover featuring the original painting ‘Sea Of Red’ by Philip Braham. Recorded in Nashville and produced by Neilson Hubbard, ‘Closer To Home’ is taken from the forthcoming album, ‘Into The Sea’.

Moving across the Atlantic, June 7th 2014 was the end of an era. That was the date of GEORGE STRAIT’s final concert. Now the soundtrack to that momentous event in Arlington, Texas is released on “Live From AT & T Stadium : The Cowboy Rides Away”.
The 20 track collection features many of Strait’s hits from the past 30 years, with guests appearing on many of the tracks, including Vince Gill, Eric Church, Sheryl Crow, Faith Hill, and, of course, Alan Jackson is on hand for “Murder On Music Row”.
There’s a sentimental “I’ll Always Remember You”, looking back at his career in song, and a star studded “All My Ex’s Live In Texas”.
It’s a great send off for George Strait fans.

There’s no questioning TIM McGRAW’s credentials in Country music. He has been one of Country music’s biggest names consistently over the past 25 years. His new album, “Sundown Heaven Town” (Decca/Big Machine) is quite a shift in direction however.
To my ears, Tim has found a softer, more down home country sound, that I wasn’t familiar with.
Amongst the tracks that really caught my attention include “City Lights”, “Shotgun Rider”, “Diamond Rings & Old Barstools” and  “Meanwhile Back At Mama’s”.
The album has 13 tracks, with an additional five tracks on the deluxe version.
This album quite surprised me. One of my favourite Tim McGraw albums for some time.

With hits like “I Hope You Dance” and “Never Again, Again”, LEE ANN WOMACK was one of Nashville’s sweethearts in the late nineties, and early 2000’s.  Incredibly, it’s been seven years since we last heard from Womack, but her new album, “The Way I’m Living” (Sugar Hill) was well worth the wait.
Her first album was really Country, but she did blend into the Nashville music machine after that. Now, she’s back with the most Country album you could imagine.  She has recorded songs written by Neil Young, Hayes Carll, Bruce Robison and Mindy Smith amongst others, but given them a real authentic rootsy, even bluegrass feel, and she sounds so much at home on this recording.
The title track has quite a southern blues feel to it, but works quite well.
The opening track, “Fly” is very soft and delicate, as is “Same Kind Of Different”, which has some lovely fiddle work from Aubrie Haynie and Hank Singer.
Her Country credentials really took over on the third track in. “Chances Are” was written by Hayes Carll, and features some fabulous steel guitar from Paul Franklin. It’s the sound that you associate with a hot Vince Gill ballad. Boy, can Franklin make a record!
The steel also features on the catchy “Sleeping With The Devil”, which is my personal favourite.  I also enjoyed the album’s closing track, “When I Come Around”, which despite its’ celtic feel, was written by Mexican born (Nashville based) Mando Saenz.
Indeed, I really loved this album. Certainly one of my album’s of the year. Highly recommended.

LADY ANTEBELLUM have set something of a standard for groups in Nashville, since they formed eight years ago. The male/female pop vocal styled trio created a sound that acts on both sides of the Atlantic have strived to copy.
Their latest album “747” was released here to coincide with a London date, and features much the same sound that they created with their signature song “Need You Now”.
That’s best demonstrated by “Lie With Me”, which is the UK single from the album.
Some of the other songs, notably “Bartender” and “Sounded Good At The Time”, which are well produced, are aimed more at pop fans.  
“One Great Mystery” is probably my favourite cut on the album, certainly the most Country,
“Down South” and “Just A Girl” both started off really down home Country, but quickly morphed into the same sound that the rest of the album had.    
No doubt this album will continue Lady A’s domination of the Country group market.

THE SWON BROTHERS are a new duo from Oklahoma, who are hoping to follow in the footsteps of Carrie Underwood, who grew up right down the street from them. Whilst Carrie won American Idol, Zach & Colton came through the US version of The Voice last year, being mentored by Blake Shelton.
Now their self titled debut album has arrived and is available here digitally, and already have a CMA Vocal Duo nomination to the credit.
Their sound is a cross between The Eagles and the many boybands that blur the lines between Country and pop these days.  “Chasing You Around” and  “Same Old Highway”  are definitely inspired by The Eagles, with some really strong harmonies.
Other tracks, like “Songs That Tell It All”, “This Side Of Heaven” and “Pray For You” are strong modern Country ballads, which I really enjoyed.
The album also includes the single “Later On” and ballads “Breaking” and “Pretty Beautiful” , which would find themselves as at home on pop as well as Country radio.
It’s a good strong debut album, and one that should appeal to Country listeners, as well as more mainstream audiences.

“Painkiller” (Humphead) is the sixth album from LITTLE BIG TOWN, the latest inductees into the Grand Ole Opry. The quartet first hit the charts in 2002, and have had considerable chart success since.
They have a modern sound, but still manage to maintain that Country feel to their music. This album continues that pattern.  The two guy/two girl line up share the vocals, giving a nice variety.
Many of the tracks are quite pop or rocky, but there are some songs that stand out.
“Live Forever” and “Silver & Gold” both have some mixed harmonies, in a haunting Everly’s style.
“Day Drinking”, the single from the album, is a bit different. It features some neat whistle sounds (no credit on the album to suggest how they came up with it), but it works. They do mix styles quite randomly.
Just to confuse me, the title track is one of the most Country sounding tracks on the album, but has quite a reggae feel to it, at the same time. This is certainly not a straight Country album!
“Girl Crush” is a soft ballad, which is probably my favourite cut on the album.

“The Big Revival” is the new album from KENNY CHESNEY (Sony). He’s another artist who has been at the top in America since he first charted over 20 years ago. All of his 14 previous album’s have been certified gold or higher by the RIAA. He’s also won the CMA’s Entertainer of The Year award 4 times.  He also gets his albums released here in Britain, but remains largely unknown to UK fans.
His music of late has tended to have a “gulf coast sound”, but this album moves away from that.
In fact one of the remaining “gulf coast sounds” on the album is “Wild Child”, which features Grace Potter.
This album has more of a crowd participation sound, which, perhaps, reflects his “live” status. Best examples of this are “American Kids” (his 25th No1 Country hit), “Beer Can Chicken”, “Rock Bottom”, and “Til It’s Gone”, which has also been released as a single in the UK.
He does slow it down on tracks like “Don’t It”, which almost has a gospel overtone, and the reflective “If This Bus Could Talk”, which reminded me of an Alabama ballad. It’s the stand out track for me.    
Quite a listenable album.

“A Little Bit Of Ireland in Nashville”, is how our next artist has been described. BERNADETTE, originally from Donegal, has been in Music City for the last twenty years, and has rubbed shoulders with many of Music City’s stars. With two highly rated albums to her credit, she has released her third album, “Not The Same Me”, and I have to say, it’s her best yet.
Her previous albums have been totally Country, but this album does have more of a “homeland” feel to it.
As an emigrant herself, she has featured a couple of songs of early emigrants, like “Isle Of Hope” and “New York Harbour”, written by Scotsman John McKenna. She also features “Camden County Poor”, John Farry’s “Dear Ireland” and Ron Hynes’ “Sonny”, whilst Maura O’Connell joins her on “Rose Of Allendale”.
But this isn’t just an Irish album. Bernadette has some good Country songs on here too.  And they’re not well known covers. She starts off with “Love With A Broken Heart”, a lovely ballad, which is one of Bernadette’s own particular favourites.  I particularly liked the original song, “I Know I Love You”, which sounded so like a Don Williams song to me. She has plans to release this song, as a single and video. Her version of “Tramp On The Street” is wonderful, and gospel influenced “In The Shadows Of Your Wings” is such a strong song.
The only cover I recognised instantly, was Terri Clark’s “Gypsy Boots”, which worked well here.
But the track that really showed such thought and originality was Dolly’s “Nickels & Dimes”, It’s quite a poppy upbeat number, but she manages to slip in a catchy little Irish fiddle jig in the middle. It’s really different, and works really well.
With 16 tracks, it’s a really good value for money.
I really enjoyed this album. Bernadette at her best.

Irish duo FOSTER & ALLEN will be celebrating their 40th year on the road next year, and show no sign of slowing down. They consistently release easy listening album’s each year, which are always big sellers.
I’m always amazed at the range of songs they pick up on. There’s always some Country, some pop, a touch of Irish, but they always deliver a set of songs that fans know and love, and you think they must have recorded these before.
Their new album “Gold & Silver Days” (DMG) has 20 tracks and the songs range from “Try A Little Kindness” and “Working Man”, to “Daydream Believer” and “North To Alaska”. On the Irish side, there’s “The Boys Of Killybegs”, “Green Hills Of Sligo” and “A Hug”,
They are masters of easy listening music, and I cant fault them.

Omagh’s LEE MATTHEWS is one of Ireland ’s Young breed. He’s already made a name for himself with songs like “Sadie’s Got Her New Dress On” and “There’s Irish In Our Eyes”, but his new album, “A Little Bitty Country” (Sharpe Music) shows Lee as an all round entertainer.
Like Derek Ryan, Lee has quite a musical cv covering his 26 years. He started singing at the age of 8, and played in many bands, including The Irish Tenors, a duo with Pete Docherty, and an X Factor group called Open All Areas.
He covers modern Country hits like Alan Jackson’s “Little Bitty”, Joe Nichols’ “Brokenheartsville” and Brad Paisley’s “Mud On The Tyres”, alongside pop covers of “Love Shine A Light” and Lonestar’s “Not a Day Goes By”.
Lee wrote four of the songs, including “That Country Girl”, “Don’t Shut Me Out” and “Mirror On The Wall”.
It’s a really well produced album, which will certainly find lots of fans on the booming Irish Country scene. A real winner, and a name for the future!

Another young Irishman making good music these days is ALASTAIR COYLES, from Ballymoney. Alastair is celebrating his 10th year in the business, with his fourth album, “I’m Over Getting Over You”.
The album is a good mix of good Country and a few 50’s & 60’s pop covers for good measure.
Amongst the stand out tracks are “Mind Of A Child”, a cover of Ray Griff’s “Pretty In Blue” and Patty Cavanagh’s “Wild Old World”. Sean Murray wrote the upbeat title track, and he does an interesting version of Derek Ryan’s “God’s Plan”.  Alastair has a good solid Country voice, ideal for delivering these songs.
The pop cover’s include “Bye Bye Love”, “Ave Maria”, “I’m Into Something Good”, and “Spirit In The Sky”.
Alastair has produced a good mix of material, which should win him more fans on both sides of the Irish Sea.


Earlier this year, Country music remembered Ernest Tubb on what would have been his 100th birthday, and then it September, the 30th Anniversary of his passing was marked.  Perhaps some of today’s generation will be unfamiliar with Tubb, but when you mention his hits like “Waltz Across Texas” and “Walking The Floor Over You”, then his mark on today’s Country music is truly appreciated.
He was known as “The Texas Troubadour”, and was the main influence on many Texan artists, as well as many beyond the Lone Star State.  To honour Ernest, the wonderful artists at Heart Of Texas Records got together to bring us “Thanks A Lot Texas Troubadour : A Tribute to Ernest Tubb”.
The album features covers of 14 ET numbers, from folks like Tony Booth, Johnny Bush, Darrell McCall, Norma Jean and Curtis Potter”. There’s Amber Digby & Justin Trevino” dueting on “Mr & Mrs Used To Be”, Dottsy’s “Waltz Across Texas” and Georgette Jones says “Thanks A Lot”. Georgette’s Dad, George contributes “Drivin’ Nails In My Coffin”, and they even have Dolly Parton singing “Slipping Around”.
The album closes with, the recently departed, George Hamilton IV with “May The Good Lord Bless And Keep You”.
It’s a superb tribute to Ernest Tubb - pure Country, as they only do down in Texas!

Another tribute worthy of note is “Remember Me”, the Buddy Holly Country Tribute by FRIZZELL & FRIENDS (Nashville America Records) . The project is recorded in association with The Buddy Holly Educational Foundation, and has been put together by the talented David Frizzell, with a stellar line up which includes Merle Haggard, Jimmy Fortune (from The Statlers), T Graham Brown, Helen Cornelius, and Sonny Curtis.
Each of the 21 tracks are introduced by Frizzell, with information about Buddy’s recording of the song. All the biggies like “Peggy Sue”, “Oh Boy”, “That’ll Be The Day”, “It’s So Easy” and “Rave On” are here, alongside, perhaps, not so well known songs, as “Maria Elana” and “Mailman Bring Me No More Blues”. They’re all given superb country treatments. There’s also the inclusion of “Walk Right Back”, in memory of Phil Everly. The song was written by Sonny Curtis, who played with Buddy before The Crickets.
It’s all great stuff, but the stand out track for me, is “Remember Me”. There’s two version’s. Merle Haggard’s superb version (including Stacey Houston’s harmonies) opens the collection, and a version from David Frizzell, Jimmy Fortune & Helen Cornelius closes the CD.
But this is more than a CD. There’s also a 60 minute long DVD showing the team talking about Buddy, and behind the scenes footage of the recording of the album. All interesting stuff, but my lasting image will be just how frail Merle Haggard looked whilst recording “Remember Me” and “That’ll Be The Day”. After all the Haggard tributes we’ve heard lately, it’s great to see Merle taking part in someone else’s tribute.
Buddy Holly was such an important contributor to popular music. It’s great to hear some real Country music in tribute to him.

Country music in America these days is quite mainstream, and covers a much wider spectrum than it did 20 or 30 years ago. But the boundaries have really been stretched by the release of “Nashville Outlaws” (Decca/Big Machine). Here we have today’s country music names recording an album of covers from glam heavy rock band Motley Crue.
Being a Country boy, I have no idea of the music covered here. What does come over is that bands like Rascall Flatts, Florida Georgia Line and Eli Young Band adapt quite easily to this style of music,
There are a few tracks which actually do sound quite Country, but how close they sound to the original, I wouldn’t know. The tracks that caught my ear, are mainly ballads, like “Home Sweet Home”, from Justin Moore & Vince Neil, “Afraid” by Aaron Lewis, “Looks That Kill”, by Lauren Jenkins, and the catchy “Same Ol’Situation” from Big & Rich.
Other acts included in the project include Leann Rimes, The Mavericks, Gretchen Wilson, and Darius Rucker, who has the most Country track on the album in “Time For Change”.
A strange compilation, but, it actually wasn’t as scary a listen as I thought it might be.

THE DOOBIE BROTHERS are best known as being a West Coast rock band, most popular back in the 1970’s & 80’s with hits like “Listen To The Music” and “Long Train Running”. They had a sound likened to the rockier side of The Eagles, with some close harmonies.
Their highest placing in the UK was No.29, back in 1975 with a number called “Take Me In Your Arms”, and are certainly not as well recognised as The Eagles, although I’m sure some of the tracks on their new album, “Southbound” (Arista), will sound familiar.
For this album, The Doobies have teamed up with Nashville’s current crop of names to join them on some refreshing remakes of their classic hits. Amongst the Country contingent, are The Zack Brown Band, Toby Keith, Blake Shelton, Sara Evans and Brad Paisley.
I’m not too sure who this album is aimed at. Is it likely to make long time Doobies fans turn to Country, or are they expecting today’s young Country fans to appreciate 80’s west Coast rock music.
I can’t see it working either way. I don’t really see the point at all.

Occasionally, along comes an album from an unknown artist, who really blows you away.
That’s how I felt about JAMES CAROTHERS, a McNairy County, Tennessee native, whose “Honky Tonk Land” is the real deal for me.
He now lives in New Mexico, where Country music is more in line with the Texan sound that that of Nashville.  Having said that, he did head back to Music City to record the album, with musicians like Eddie Bayers, Gordon Mote and Wanda Vick.
The 8 track CD kicks off with “New Country Singers”, which places him very much in the traditional mould, by taking a little swipe at today’s Nashville’s hitmakers.  The album also features his very Country single, “I Must Be Alive”, and the catchy “Have Another Round”. The closing track, “Where Did We Come From” is a slower track than the rest of the album, but still fits in nicely.
There’s a bit of Waylon in his style, and a whole lot of Dale Watson.
He wrote all eight of the tracks, and there’s not a bad one between them.
This was a superb introduction to James Carothers. A real Country talent for the future!

THE STRAY BIRDS are an interesting group, formed in Pennsylvania in 2010, and appeared at Celtic Connections in early 2014. The acoustic/roots/bluegrass trio consist of Maya de Vitry, Oliver Craven and Charles Muench, have just released their second full album, “Best Medicine” (Yep Roc), and, as I say, it makes an interesting listen.
The album not only offers quite modern tracks like “San Antonio”, but also old timey arrangements on “Pallett” and “Who’s Gonna Shoe”.
There are uptempo numbers like “Adelaide” and “The Bells” and slower ballads like “Never For Nothing” and “Stolen Love”.
Male led tracks, especially “Feathers and Bone” sound a bit more contemporary than the tracks which feature Maya on lead vocal. But together they do provide some nice harmonies.
My favourite tracks include “Simple Man”, and “Black Hills”.
As I say, an interesting album. They have a nice sound, which will enhance their appeal.

JIM KEAVEY’s music is described as “Americana, sprinkled with a hint of 60’s garage rock, Tex-Mex and a sense of humour”.  His new album, Out Of Time”, certainly has evidence of it all.
The North Dakota raised singer songwriter does have the most melodic vocal style, but like many artists can develop songs to suit their style, and Jim certainly does that.
The humorous side of Keavey comes out in titles like “Lucy Aint Got No Arms”, which is quite a catchy little number.
I have to say though, that it’s David Barclay Gomez on the Tex Mex accordion that really makes this album. It’s especially evident on tracks like  ”Eugene To Yuma” and “Ridin’ Boots”.
An interesting outing.
THE EARLY MAYS are an American female trio of musicians. Ellen Gozion, from Pennsylvania, Judith Avers from Kansas and Emily Pinkerton from Indiana first got together at a Christmas Eve concert in a Pittsburgh church. They all had leanings towards the traditional music of The Appalachians, and the Early Mays formed soon after.
They did have a holiday album released in 2012, and now follow it up with a beautiful laid back self titled acoustic album release.
They excel with their three part harmonies, fiddle, banjo and guitar. Individually they wrote 7 of the album’s 13 tracks, which also features traditional numbers like AP Carter’s “Little Darlin’ Pal Of Mine”, “Lonesome John” and “The Blackest Crows”.  There’s also “I’m Sorry Wyoming”, written by Abbie Gardner from Red Molly. It’s one of my favourite tracks.
Other stand out tracks, include the very Country sounding “Old Stone Wall” and the very simply arranged “Take My Time”.
It’s a nice easy listening, worth checking out, if you enjoy the more folksy Appalachian sound.

Finally, BOB CHEEVERS is one of these guys, who, when you listen to his music, makes you wonder why he’s not up there are at the top.  He has written songs for Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings, and Elvis had one of his songs on his “to do” list, before he died. His style is a dead ringer for Willie Nelson.
He is a regular visitor to our shores, and indeed, it was thanks to his English guitarist during his 2012 European tour, that this album found its’ title. He had a bumper sticker on his guitar which read “On Earth As It Is In Austin”, and that’s the title of Bob’s new album (Private Angel label).
As a singer songwriter, Bob has written all 15 tracks, and performs them with the simple sound of his guitar, alongside some esteemed Texan musicians.
The likeness to Willie is quite uncanny, especially on tracks like “The Sound Of A Door”, which opens the album, “Made In Mississippi”, and “Falling On Easy Street”.
But it all comes to a head on his full on Willie tribute’s “You Sound So Much Like Willie” and “Blue Eyes Always On My Mind”, as well as the title cut, which is half spoken.
He does have his own sound, on the catchy “My First Rodeo”, and the raunchy sounding “Snake Oil Man”.
All things considered. If you like Willie Nelson, you’ll love Bob Cheevers.

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