Greatest Hits – Red Sovine
Red Sovine died in 1980 at the age of 61, but his truck driving song legacy has continued to shine throughout the decades since his passing. Sovine’s “Teddy Bear” is a classic among classics in the trucking world, reaching No. 1 on the country chart in 1976. It is among 18 terrific cuts neatly packaged on this Varese Sarabande Records compilation, which highlights Sovine’s years with the Starday and Gusto labels.
The West Virginia native got his big break on KWKH-AM in Shreveport, La., on “The Louisiana Hayride,” with co-star Hank Williams. He recorded throughout the ’50s with some success. This greatest hits CD begins with his energetic 1961 recording of “Why Baby Why,” and moves on to his big 1965 hit, “Giddyup Go.” Other songs of note include “Phantom 309” and “Little Joe.” A
Some People Change – Montgomery Gentry
With their fifth studio album, Kentuckians Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry decided to go deep – that is deeper into the exploration of issues the duo have always relied on – family, religion and the military.
We get more from the guys on Some People Change, including a glimpse of their songwriting talent. Gentry co-wrote “It Takes All Kinds” and “If You Wanna Keep an Angel.” Montgomery had a hand in penning “A Man’s Job” and “Clouds,” a heartfelt ballad. Truckers will likely enjoy two of the 12 tracks, “Redder Than That” and “Free Ride in the Fast Lane,” a song Gentry describes as “one of those songs about life on the road, no holds barred, pointing into the wind, running and gunning from venue to venue.” Heck yeah! B-
Dangerous Man – Trace Adkins
Trace Adkins has survived the music business for 10 years. “There are a lot of artists that can’t say, ‘I made it to the end of my contract,'” Adkins says. “I’m proud of the fact that I did that.” And the country music fans are proud to be on his team, ready to take the long-legged Louisianan into the next decade.
OK, so the leadoff single “Swing” on Dangerous Man is a bit cheesy. But hey, Trace’s pseudo-cheesy hit from his previous CD became a monster smash, “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk.” The video mix for that butt-iful hit is included on this 13-track multimedia journey. Rockers include “Ladies Love Country Boys” and “Southern Hallelujah.” The softer side of Adkins shines on “I Wanna Feel Something.” This CD once again proves Trace Adkins is diverse and unique, two traits hard to come by in Music City these days. B+
Like Red On A Rose – Alan Jackson
After 31 No. 1 singles and sales of more than 45 million albums, an artist should be allowed to have a mulligan. That’s exactly what superstar Alan Jackson needs to do on this Alison Krauss-produced CD (compact disaster).
It’s boring, depressing and did we mention it wasn’t very good?
This is the first of A.J.’s 16 albums not featuring Keith Stegall as producer. Krauss and Jackson have 13 songs about love on Like Red On A Rose. After the third or fourth romantic song, the listener would like to hear at least a glimpse of a Jackson song about drinking, cars or even one about a river.
“I kinda let Alison run with this thing; it was her baby,” says Jackson. Luckily there are two songs worth a spin, “Had It Not Been You” and “A Woman’s Love,” a soulful remake of a track off of Jackson’s 1998 High Mileage. Next time Alan, please use Keith Stegall as your producer. Pretty please? D-