STATE OF MIND
I suppose if you are going to be a musician and your name is Waylon you are pretty well guaranteed to be a country singer.
And so it is with Steve Waylon who comes to the country scene from his small town roots in New Brunswick.
Now this was an interesting CD in the sense I gave it its first listen while plugging away at a story on the Yorkton Terriers. I mention that because sometimes you get a feel for the impact of music when multi-tasking. Does a new song suddenly have you stopping whatever else you are doing because it completely catches your attention? It has certainly happened to me over the years, although not with State of Mind.
It was actually a case of when the CD finished, I made the mental comment 'is it over already?'
That might sound like a bad thing, and in some respects it is. The songs here are all in tight formation regarding their style. This is country which owes much to the likes of Waylon Jennings and as such one song follows in lockstep with the next. There are no hairpin curves where Waylon shifts up or down several gears. He just finds a nice country pace, and stays with it.
When played as background to other efforts, nothing stands out too much.
But, Waylon wants you to spend time with his music. His strength is his lyrics.
Waylon can bring out the emotion on a song such as To Have That Dance, the best cut on the disk, but you need to let yourself into the song. You have to be there with Waylon listening to the words.
Songs such as No Deposit No Return and Big Train kick it up a bit, and require less emotional involvement because of that fact, but they are also not the top songs either.
Certainly when Waylon has a sad story to tell, when he slows it down a bit, when he goes a little less 'radio-friendly', he is at his best.
Still overall, I like this disk. It's straight ahead country, and shows a lot of promise in the newcomer from the Maritimes.
Check it out at www.stevewaylon.ca
— CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Jan 12, 2011 - Yorkton, SK. Canada