|1. Cute As A Bug|
|2. My Baby Don't Tolerate|
|3. The Truck Song|
|4. In My Own Mind|
|5. Nothing But A Good Ride|
|6. Big Dog|
|7. You Were Always There|
|8. Wallisville Road|
|9. Working Too Hard|
|10. San Antonio Girl|
|11. On Saturday Night|
|12. Election Day|
|13. I'm Going To Wait|
|14. I'm Going To The Place|
Those who bought Cowboy Man: Anthology Volume One will recognise ''The Truck Song'' and ''San Antonio Girl'', two brilliant little Western Swing gems which were included on this greatest hits collection as a taster for things to come. Melodically they're basically the same song, and both offer flashes of Lovett's intellect, gentle humour and reluctance to let rhyming conventions get in the way of a good story ('I've been to Paris / And I don't mean Texas/ I met Wim Wenders/ one time in London').
Apart from these two tracks, co-produced with Tony Brown, it is long time collaborator Billy Williams who joins Lovett at the mixing desk. The musicians are familiar too. There's no horn section, but Large Band members Matt Rollings and Viktor Krauss are back on keyboards and bass, and Francine Reed and Sweet Pea Atkinson add vocals to the two gospel numbers which close the show. Choice session musicians including Paul Franklin (steel), Stuart Duncan (fiddle) and Sam Bush (mandolin), who often joins Lovett's touring band, are there too. On top of this already polished bed of music flows Lovett's ever velvety and gentlemanly vocal, adding that special gleam that makes all his albums such dignified affairs.
He takes the opportunity to further explore two familiar themes - relationships with beautiful, interesting women and his love for the minutiae of life in Texas. At one point he does take a rare look outside his home state for inspiration, with ''Nashville'', but it is only with a wry eye ('They live in Nashville/ They drive a coupe de ville/ They all take little pills/ On a Saturday night'). You can take the boy out of Texas, but you can't take Texas out of the boy... --Sue Keogh
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Fortunately for Lovett fans this album is a strong return to form. This is a mixture of rocky, country, etherial, penetrating songs infused with Lovett's ability to paint an image with a single phrase or word, as well as his trademark quirky humour. All the songs are delivered by an impeccable backing band that fits each song like a carefully tailored suit.
Lovett's chief strength has always been the eclectic range of musical styles he is capable of delivering. The album opens with the upbeat country-rocker "Cute As A Bug" and proceeds with a mixture of bluesey and straight country style tracks of great depth and sensitivity. I can certainly identify with the lament "Working To Hard (to win your love)".
As with his earlier work "Joshua Judges Ruth", Lovett delivers two very strong gospel influenced tracks - "I'm Going To Wait" and "I'm Going To The Place". I defy anyone, regardless of religeous or musical orientation to bely the infectious, toe-tapping, hand-clapping enjoyment of these tracks.
I suspect this album will work its way into the most frequent played list of many listeners, I know it is already a firm favourite of mine.
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