Yee Haw! Country music doesn’t get any Countrier than this!
With the exception of Dale Watson and; perhaps a handful of others; fans of traditional Country music in the style of George, Hank, Lefty and the rest have been pretty short changed in recent years; but that’s all about to change with the arrival of this album.
The opening line ‘How many times can I say that I’m sorry/until it finally means nothing to you?’ genuinely stopped me in my tracks and the rest of Heads You Win was a bit too close to home for comfort and had me close to tears; which is sad for a man my age; but a testament to Gary Hunn’s quality songwriting.
Anywhere in Georgia (for GP) is simply spellbinding as Hunn considers where he wants to be buried and asks; ‘don’t burn me up/like the Cosmic Cowboy.’ The song finishes with a female choir joining in on the chorus; making a good song very memorable indeed.
Peta Cherae joins Hunn on Out of My Life; which is a Classic Country duet in the style of George and Tammy with both singers blaming the other for their breakup and it’s a highlight on an excellent record.
Hunn even manages to slide in a Honky-Tonk protest song about the banking crisis and lack of political foresight and help with Hard Times A’ Coming; which is a pretty good trick to pull off; and it’s pulled off with style.
There’s nothing new or clever about Heartaches, Hangovers and Cheating Songs; but it’s the embodiment of a great Country Song as Hunn is suffering a broken heart; but all he hears on the radio are Heartaches, Hangovers and Cheating Songs and with only the slightest of promotion it’s the type of song Brad Paisley and Toby Keith have been crying out for, for years.
Hunn’s voice is a warm baritone and his band’s playing; especially Phil Bakers’ exemplary pedal steel and Mark Wyer’s piano playing is straight outta Nashville via Bakersfield with a short stopover in Austin; which is amazing for a bunch of musicians from Queensland, Australia.