Vince's Really Big Show

Next Big Thing –
Vince Gill

Where’s this guy been the last few years? On this return CD, Gill performs a batch of fine songs, singing in an honest and unaffected voice and playing guitar leads that sting like nothing he’s done in years.

The rejuvenation in Gill is self-evident. Gill’s initial single – the title track – is a fun look at swinging country. “Young Man’s Town” could easily be a commentary on today’s Nashville. Co-writing with pop-ballad king Richard Marx provides a unique twist to this head-turning CD. With 17 songs present in more than 65 minutes of music, this is the kind of album the doctor ordered for Vince and all of country music. A

The Dreamer –
Blake Shelton

With his 2001 gold debut album and the No. 1 country hit “Austin,” Blake Shelton helped lead the back-to-country movement. R&R’s 2001 Breakthrough Artist of the Year once again sings earnestly and passionately about family and best friends, hard work and dreams on his second album, with the No. 1 hit “The Baby,” a tune about being the youngest child, leading the way. Unfortunately, the other nine cuts on The Dreamer don’t add up to an album with the same power. It’s packaged with songs that are less than crafty and lack real emotional oomph.
Songs that are halfway OK to listen to include “Asphalt Cowboy” and “My Neck of the Woods.” The title track comes and goes on you. “Georgia In A Jug” is an unusual cut that shows off a bit of cleverness. Luckily, “The Baby” is a strong enough cut to salvage a rather dull CD. B-

Steal Another Day –
Steve Wariner

He’s been cranking out hit tunes for four decades now, but this is the first time Steve Wariner is completely doing his music his way. Launching his own label, Selectone, Wariner’s home studio recording is reminiscent of his work in the ’80s with mega-producer Jimmy Bowen.

Steal Another Day comes in a nifty tri-fold cardboard sleeve, and 10 of the 16 tracks are all original. New songs worth a spin in the big rig are the fun, rockin’ “Carmelita,” “Welcome To This World” and “In My Heart Forever (For Chet),” a tribute to his old friend Chet Atkins. The remaining third of the project includes five No. 1 hits from Wariner, including “The Weekend” and “Where Did I Go Wrong.” The songs are cut in the Wariner way, and that means they are dyn-o-mite. A

Music For The Road –
Jack Clayton

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Interstate 40 runs from the Mojave Desert in California to the Atlantic Coast at Wilmington, N.C. The Demonbreun Street exit in downtown Nashville is the spot on I-40 where newcomer Jack Clayton pulled off to try his hand at Music Row. The long journey from Bakersfield to Tennessee is paying off with Jack’s fresh look at country – trucking style.

Music For The Road is chock full of energetic tunes that resonate the spirit and lifestyle of the transportation industry. “Sure Takes A Toll On Love” is a high-octane, well-written track about the sacrifices truckers make. Jack tells us, “We think the men and women who make their living hauling America’s commerce will appreciate a modern musical approach to their lives and livelihood. Even if most mainstream country radio stations have forgotten about the American trucker, we haven’t!”

Other songs of note on this Ramblin’ Road Records release include “Backhaul To Memphis,” “White Lies White Lines” and “Montana Morning.” A

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