As I’m playing catch-up with about 100 different album releases this summer, That Nashville Sound is doing some album reviews we’ve affectionately called Slacker Album Reviews. They’re not short, they’re just “petite.” Five smiley faces is an A. One smiley face is an AMC Gremlin.
In addition to providing one hell of an entertaining western-themed album, Murphey is obviously attempting a higher calling. On his sixth in this series of traditional cowboy songs, he is committed to keeping these classic tales alive for generations to come and preserving the stories and history of this music genre like no other. His fascinating “James Gang Trilogy” is a three-song collection about the legendary group of robbers who met their demise in various degrees of adventure. The stand-out track on the album is fantastic and funny story-song “Trusty Lariat.” Attributed to Harry “Haywire Mac” McClintock in the 20’s, it tells the tale of a cowboy fireman who leaves his post shoveling coal on the SP train he’s on, to save the life of a young girl on the tracks- and in the process derails the train killing near all the passengers.
☺☺☺ & a half
Justin Haigh- People Like Me
With a voice that consistently reminds of Tracy Lawrence, Justin Haigh’s People Like Me delivers up an incredible collection of 12 exceptional neo-traditional songs that make it easily one of the top ten albums thus far this year. With a collection of writers on board that any artist would cross deserts for- Randy Houser, Jerrod Niemann, Bobby Pinson, Kelley Lovelace, Erv Woolsey (George Strait’s manager), Mary Gauthier, and Jamey Johnson- the tracks worth mentioning are almost too many. “Monahans” and “In Jail” are detailed evocatively with a just enough humor to be stars. “All My Best Friends (Are Behind Bars), is solid country jukebox gold. Indie Texas music isn't supposed to be this good.