Country music today is really a genre which has lost its way. It has evolved toward rock, and along the way Nashville has pumped out a bunch of singers which are simply automaton clones of the last 'Next Big Thing', which of course lasted all of one CD, and one cookie cutter single which country radio was all to willing to flog.
So, every time I cut the wrapper on a CD case these days, knowing it's country music, I do it with a certain level of trepidation.
Now we get to Wyatt, which rides the vocal abilities of Daniel Fortier and Scott Patrick, who also have their combined hands in writing all 10 cuts.
Where to start? The first thing I will say is these guys aren't out on the edge blazing a new trail for country, in fact they have the country rock sound, but at least they do it damn well.
The voices of Fortier and Patrick mesh together well, in the grand tradition of some of the top country duos out there; yes you can think Brooks and Dunn here, although generally the styling is different.
Lyrically, Fortier and Patrick do a solid job. You can actually listen to the words and get something of a story. Much of today's country has boiled down to a catch phrase and a guitar riff. I particularly like Hard Road, Drinking You In, Smoke Ring, My Lullaby, Dance Me, and This Town (which is arguably the most memorable song here).
While the CD mixes slow numbers and up tempo cuts, Wyatt is strongest on the slow cuts, where their vocals can be fully appreciated,.
Most of these songs could see radio play over time. In that regard this CD is super solid, reminding of the Poverty Plainsmen's Gotta Be A Believer.
With Fortier and Patrick on guitars, Shaun Dancey on bass and Bray Hudson on drums, Wyatt is a tight band, who are as good as any country I've reviewed in quite some time. Hailing from Saskatoon, these guys are another Saskatchewan gem which should play Yorkton real soon, if the right venue would contact them.
You can keep track of Wyatt, and order this great CD by visiting http://www.wyattmusic.com/
-- CALVIN DANIELS
- Reviews first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper June 20, 2007 - Yorkton, SK. Canada