Given how severely the majority of contemporary country music reeks, who can blame Moot Davis for turning back the clock to a time when the genre smelled like roses? Certainly not Pete Anderson, whose work with Dwight Yoakam has earned him the undying gratitude of listeners who consider the watering down of the Nashville sound to be a waste of natural resources. Anderson signed the New Jersey-born Davis to Little Dog Records, a label he owns, and served as producer, arranger and chief accompanist on his self-titled debut, issued earlier this year. The disc finds Davis swinging, swaying and skipping through ten songs in just 28 minutes, yet he manages to make an impression thanks to a bracing tenor that yanks the stylistic flourishes of the past into the 21st century. Tracks such as "Last Train Home" and "Halls of Smoke & Wine" stick a bit too closely to classic themes, but given the alternative, this is a minor quibble. When it comes to country music that combines the best of yesterday and today, the point is Moot.
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