Album Review: James Robert Webb - "Honky Tonk Revival"

Rising singer/songwriter from Oklahoma delivers another winning collection of songs.

After scoring some success with his first album (Pictures) via Bison Creek Entertainment, James Robert Webb is back with Honky Tonk Revival his sophomore album and it certainly isn't a sophomore slump. On the contrary, it is better in every way (even though the diversity of country sounds remains the same) with better vocals, tighter songwriting and pointed production choices.

"Six Strings & The Truth" opens the record in a way one might expect from a classic Garth Brooks song. It definitely is a statement song for James as an artist (he puts his heart and honesty on his sleeve) and with the thumping percussive backbeat, it's the right song to start the record (and likely his concert performances this year). If you know hard working women, well, James Robert Webb's song "Hard Working Women" is something for them. It's a song about all the women who are "underpaid but loving overtime."

James Robert Webb co-wrote most of the record with his friend, rising songwriter Alex Dooley. Their songs together, "Honky Tonk Revival," "Heart Hangover," "You Can Call Me Anytime," "American Beauty" and "Man On A Mission" run the gamut of country sounds and all deserve airplay slots on radio if the time should come with rocker "American Beauty" being the most obvious choice. Another Alex Dooley song, "Slow One," (which he co-wrote with Jeff Silvey) is the kind of classic George Strait-like song that says, yeah, you're listening to great country music.

Speaking of George Strait, there's a fine cover of "Nobody In His Right Mind Would've Left Her"" on this record which is updated to suit James' own style and is paired with a strong and unique take on the greatest country song ever recorded® on "He Stopped Loving Her Today." Yes, THAT Song. And that's what's great about James Robert Webb's Honky Tonk Revival. Every song works and he's never been in better voice. I look forward to hearing what he has coming up next.