Greg Adkins,
Chase the Western Sky
(independent, 2008)

The opening song on Chase the Western Sky, "Old Radio," is a winner. A soulful fiddle soars behind the melody and the guitars provide a softly rocking foundation for singer Greg Adkins' voice, which is mellow and natural. The song's medium tempo bounces along nicely, letting you know you're in good hands. "Old Radio" is followed by "My Own Worst Enemy," which rocks a little harder and is a little edgier as the speaker in the song discovers that, even though he is just a shadow of the horrible person he thought he was, he is still his own worst enemy.

Adkins can write, play and sing. With producer Chris Rosser, he has put together an album where fiddles and Dobros blend with electric guitars and Hammond organs, creating a soundscape that serves the songs well.

On the negative side, though, most of the creativity seems to have gone into the first two songs on the CD. After that, it settles into a groove and becomes, well, merely pleasant, like, as Adkins sings, a pair of old shoes or the house you grew up in. Adkins is a sincere writer and singer but he is a soft singer, never belting or yelping. Sometimes his own good taste keeps the album from soaring. After a while you want to hear him let loose, to just cut the strings and take to the air. He never does.

[ visit the artist's website ]

review by
Michael Scott Cain

26 April 2008

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