This is another cool Canadian who loves classic country music as it was. The Ontario born singer previously fronted the band Nudie and The Turks whose name came from renowned country couturiers Nudie Cohn and Nathan Turk. That reference alone is enough to signal where this singer/songwriter’s heart lies. This Nudie’s debut solo album is a little different from the music that can be seen on YouTube where he plays something more hardcore with the band.
The album opens with If a Heart Could Tell, which features Molly Rankin, of the noted musical family, on the song about defining real feelings. It has an interesting mix of Spanish guitar and trumpet. Sex Kisses is more upfront in every sense, but the title song is a big sounding mid-tempo ballad with twanging guitars and organ and features a strong vocal from Mr Nudie. This is something of a defining song for the overall mood. There are some up-tempo songs like Why do We Keeping Hanging on, which is a song that questions the reason a relationship continues. It has a nice Cash-lite twang as Nudie doesn’t yet have the patina of the Man in Black’s seasoned vocals . The album has no player or producer credits so it’s not possible to name names, but these guys sound as if they know what they’re doing. Pawn Shop has steel guitar and some good lead guitar to give it direction. The Pain in You is a fast paced Telecaster-led tale of a temptress. The album closes with the kiss-off of I Miss the Love (But I Never Miss You).
Remember This is a highly enjoyable album with a taste of Bakersfield and the music that sustains some of Nashville’s Lower Broadway bars. It isn’t going to change your mind about country music one way or another, but Nudie has written some good songs and sings them well with a tight band behind him. However without touring Europe as Petunia and The Vipers have, Nudie may remain a local attraction. Those looking for real country music, not something pulled from another era, rather one that references those earlier times yet sounding fresh, should be happy to listen to, enjoy and remember this album when you're looking for something that feels real.