Black Hen Music
Cameron Latimer knows what country music really is.
When you hear the opening strains of Empty Saddle, you know this guy cut his teeth on the likes of Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard, and he generally remembers all that was great about country performers of that era.
There are time Latimer shows a bit of the modern. Heartbreaker, while musically rootsy country, lyrically has something of a poppish lilt, but we can forgive him for a couple of small missteps because when Latimer is on, he is so very country.
The Ranch, is a wonderful, albeit somewhat dark, country song of a rancher about to lose his beloved ranch, and how he deals with that. This is a gold nugget of a country song.
While not as western as say Ian Tyson, and with less flare than Corb Lund, Latimer's name deserves to be thought of in the same vein, as a musician who plays country the way it should be played. Of course because he is a true country singer for the most part, Latimer may find it difficult to get some of the best cuts on today's country radio.
So, we forgive him when he offers up the occasional song more suited to today's radio. The title cut is such a song. The music here has just a hint of the vintage Eagles, with more modern lyrics than say the aforementioned The Ranch.
Division Day is another song that is more modern, yet the steel guitar heartbeat resonates here as well.
Latimer comes at us out of Vancouver, not exactly ranch country, but he is able to write with a true country feel. His best songs come across as from the heart, and they resonate country.
The way Latimer blends songs which pay such homage to the purer country of the past, while still offering up some modern approach cuts too, speaks to how versatile he is. He makes this CD work on a number of levels.
As an example Gin Train has more of a southern fried sound, ala Little Texas, and it fits right in with the subtle mix of approaches this artist offers listeners.
This is simply an excellent country effort which deserves a broad audience for its diversity.
Check it out at www.cameronlatimer.com
-- CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper May 13, 2009 - Yorkton, SK. Canada