Straight From the Heart
Album Review by Paul W. Dennis
Daryle Singletary never managed to become a megastar, mostly because he has too much soul and integrity for today’s Nashville. Simply put, Daryl is “too country”.
This album picks up where Daryl’s 2002 album That’s Why I Sing This Way left off, with one original song, the humorous “I Still Sing This Way”; one cover of a recent song, the Larry Cordle-penned Rebecca Lynn Howard cut “Jesus and Bartenders”; and ten classic country covers sung with feeling.
The cover songs are as follows:
“The Bottle Let Me Down” – a Merle Haggard hit from 1966.
“Black Sheep” (w/John Anderson) – a #1 for John Anderson in 1983.
“Some Broken Hearts Never Mend” – a #1 for Don Williams in 1977.
“Promises” – a minor Randy Travis hit which Randy co-wrote.
“I’ve Got A Tiger By The Tail” (w/Ricky Skaggs) – a Buck Ownes classic from 1965.
“These Days I Barely Get By” – a top ten George Jones record.
“Miami, My Amy” – Keith Whitley’s first top twenty record from 1986.
” Lovin’ On Back Streets” – a #5 record for Mel Street in 1973. Like Daryle , Mel Street was ‘too country’, and like Daryle, he was a fine, emotive singer.
“Fifteen Years Ago” – Conway Twitty’s immediate follow up to “Hello Darlin'”, I always thought that Conway’s performance was better than the song’s rather maudlin lyric. Daryl also handles it well, although it’s still a silly song.
“We’re Gonna Hold On” (w/Rhonda Vincent)- a George & Tammy classic from 1973 that comes off very well. No surprise, really since Rhonda is a better singer than Tammy ever was, and Daryle hold up his end of the bargain.
The presence of legendary pianist Hargus “Pig Robbins” lends a strong sense of authenticity. Best of all no electronic keyboards or synthesizers, but plenty of fiddle and steel guitar – this is real country music played on real country instruments. Darren Vincent and his sister Rhonda provide vocal harmonies throughout .
I’ve heard a bunch of good albums this year and this is my favorite album so far this year, better even than the Nelson – Haggard – Price collaboration. This is not to say that Singletary is quite in their league as a singer, but his pipes are at least 30 years younger and in better shape. It’s also better than the new David Ball album of classic country songs, mainly because Daryle has a significantly better voice than David Ball (I urge readers to purchase both, but if there’s money only for one of the two, then this should be the one purchased.
Really enjoyed this album a lot…..great song selection and he sounds great.
Duet with Rhonda is my favorite…the woman can do no wrong I believe. Would like to hope it might get released to radio but it would go nowhere…its just too damn good for radio