Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Review -- JOHNNY REID -- Dance With Me

DANCE WITH ME
Johnny Reid
Open Road Recordings
7.5-out-of-10
Johnny Reid has been gaining a following in country music starting back in 2005 with the release of Born to Roll and the 2007 follow-up Kicking Stones, also on the Open Road Recordings label.
Dance With Me is another step in Reid’s development.
This disk features the familiar grit-edged vocals which are something of a Reid trademark. The voice is one that is unique enough to set it apart from many in the country ranks these days, where many are attempting to simply mimic the ‘in sound’.
As much as Reid’s voice sets him apart from the usual country herd, it may not be for everybody either. I for one seem to waffle from one song to the next on how much I like his vocals.
The lead cut A Woman Like You misses for me based on Reid’s voice.
Then you hit a number like the title-cut Dance With Me, and I was just going ‘wow, I love the way he handles this song’. A slow love song, Dance With Me is a moving number that Reid handles masterfully. It helps too the instrumentation at times has a near classical feel, taking the song another notch up the ladder.
Brings Me Home is another slower tempo song that is a major highlight of the disk. Reid sings the slow ones with as much emotion as anyone in country today.
While there are times I personally am not the hugest fan of Reid, I totally admire that he really is cutting his own swath in country music.
There are times the music takes on a near blues, or jazz, feel. I’m not sure how country a song such as Let’s Take It Outside, but way to go Mr. Reid for selling something on the edge as country. The harmonica work is great too.
Ditto, Hey-O, which seems equal parts 1950s rock ‘n roll, and blues. Not sure it cuts as country, but who cares. It’s a fun, upbeat song that kicks some butt.
The fresh approach on several of the cuts, and the unique vocals Reid brings to the table certainly make this one an easy one to suggest anyone grab.
Check this one out at www.johnnyreid.com
CALVIN DANIELS

-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Dec. 9, 2009 - Yorkton, SK. Canada

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