In terms of country music these days, there is a definite sound which Nashville has created, and successful bands have had to emulate in order to find wide radio play, since most public stations follow each other like lemmings on their life-ending romp.
A Canadian band which has the “Nashville' sound, yet manages at times to rise above the homogeneous malaise that is country today is Doc Walker.
Songs such as Maria have radio-friendly modern country written all over it. It is a song that is 1970's rock glazed over as 2000's country.
Thankfully we can forgive Doc Walker for going after such hits because they at least know what real country is, something I'm not convinced a lot of Nashville acts really know these days.
You can enjoy the tutti-fruttie radio-style material here as an appetizer to songs such as My Life, which lyrically, and stylistically is a far truer form of country. This is one we might have heard from any top country act the last 50 years. It's a song sung from the heart, showing a country soul.
Doc Walker gets even better with the song That Train, one of those sad country anthems for the ages. This one is timeless. A 10-plus as a single. It is a song like this which puts this band Doc Walker among the biggest name's in country music in Canada today.
They were nominated for nine Canadian Country Music awards in 2007, including Album of the Year, Single of the Year (Driving With the Brakes On), and Group of the Year.
Doc Walker's self-titled album would win Album of The Year at this year's CCMAs, which were handed out at the Brandt Centre in Regina.
Doc Walker was also awarded for Outstanding Country Recording of the Year and Independent Album of the Year at this year's Western Canadian Music Awards. The awards were handed out October, in Moose Jaw.
Country fans this one is a must. Super job. Check them out at www.docwalker.ca
-- CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Jan.30, 2008 - Yorkton, SK. Canada