Do you ever hear the opening notes to a song and, basically in an instant, you already know that you really dig the tune? That happens to me every so often, and it’s kind of nice to simply let it be what it is: a nice surprise. There are times where the sound hits something in my brain, and I just reflexively react in a favorable way.
Truth is, I popped in the upcoming record from Austin’s Rob Baird a few minutes ago and sure enough, what I detailed above is what exactly happened otme. To be sure, this isn’t a review, especially since “Running Away”, the opening track from the album, Blue-Eyed Angels is only now finishing up as I type this. Baird’s roots-rock vibe, filled with electric slide guitar, fiddle, harmonica and organ bring to mind some of the less gritty tunes from Kentucky bad-ass Chris Knight.
Now, I don’t get the impression that Baird could take Knight in a fight behind one of the bars he plays at, but as I roll through the rest of the CD, Baird is displaying a great ability to craft a catchy country-rock song. The production is a tad slick, and his voice isn’t half as distinctive or aching as Knight’s is, but again, I keep listening. I keep finding myself really digging this record.
Slick isn’t bad, and so far, this is a relatively sleek album. Pre-fab and formulaic typically is, and so far, I’m not getting that vibe at all. Track three, “Could’ve Been my Baby” is another great example of a song that isn’t going to send most folks into a frenzy over how original and revolutionary it is. the basics are often overlooked and dismissed as simple. Let’s not forget that without the foundation of taking care of the basics in a quality and pleasing manner, the rest of the song or album just wont matter.
That’s where I feel like this album is a cut above so many others. Baird fosuces on doing what he does well, and doesnt concern himself with getting crazy, just for the sake of shaking things up.
So far, so good.
Kelly Dearmore is a freelance writer, mean pot of chili maker and opinionated music lover. To read more about what Kelly is listening to, visit him here on The Squawker weekly or daily on his personal music blog, The Gobblers Knob