Listen Up: Wednesday, October 04, 2007
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A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Jamie Richards

Drive
(D Records)

By Tom Geddie

With his smooth-as-milk country voice, Jamie Richards delivers 14 songs about love, lost love, whiskey, and his mom on the Fort Worth-recorded Drive, whose roots are in the successful George Strait-inspired school of music.
Richards, an Oklahoma native, was a corporate songwriter in Nashville for about five years before deciding he wasn’t commercial enough for that environment. All but one of the songs here are co-writes (a process in which two or more people craft a song together to sound like one person’s own experience). Most of them are as solid as his voice. On “Country Song Waitin’ to Happen,” the CD’s parody of a commercial-radio country song, he claims, “The IRS just repossessed my tractor/ And my wife, she just ran off with my best friend / He had to be drunk when he asked her / Yeah, and my dog, Lucky, just got run over again.”
The rest of the way, Richards plays it straight. On “You Don’t Know Jack,” he sings, “He’s my new best friend / He’s 80 proof there’s life after you,” followed by a fiddle-and-steel break. On “Windy,” he worries that he’s not living up to the example his parents set, and on the closing “Julia’s Table,” he honors his mother’s biscuits and love.
Throughout, the playing is nicely nuanced if a little melancholy: steel guitar, fiddle, electric and acoustic guitars, bass, drums, and a bit of piano. Richards sings well, and the songs are well crafted and traditional enough for anybody who leans toward the honkytonk side of real C&W.


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