With his signature smooth, deep voice, Bill Barwick presents a collection of story songs reminiscent of what Jimmy Dean was doing in the early '60s. Barwick has a similar gift for vocal cadences, and in a similar tradition of country music, where such nods to your roots are often expected, he includes covers on this record. His treatment of Mary McCaslin's "Prairie in the Sky" emphasizes the inherent warmth and tenderness of the song, and his vibrant take on Johnny Cash's "Don't Take Your Guns to Town," with its tasteful use of slapback, benefits from the sonic clarity present in all of these recordings. But Barwick's own compositions, especially the melancholic ballad "Blue Stem Grass," reveal an artist with a keen ear for detail and emotional resonance. Soulful, captivating and elegant throughout.
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