Halos and Good Buys
First Appeared at The Music Box, May 2004, Volume 11, #5
Written by T.J. Simon
For its new album Halos and Good Buys, South Carolina’s Blue Dogs enlisted the production assistance of Don Gehman, who previously crafted the masterworks of John Mellencamp, Hootie and The Blowfish, and Bruce Hornsby. The pairing was a perfect fit as Blue Dogs’ specialty is to tread through similar stylistic terrain — that is, acoustic-based roots rock with a slight country edge. Songwriters Bobby Houck and Hank Futch have a knack for creating relentlessly catchy, southern rock tunes that owe more to the smooth influence of Little Feat than the electrified bombast of Lynyrd Skynyrd, and this shines particularly bright on Walter.
On Halos and Good Buys, Blue Dogs is clearly aiming for a mainstream country radio sound, but its musical integrity is never compromised. The obvious single Wrong Love at the Right Time will please fans of both country and adult contemporary radio. The peppering of Daren Shumaker’s mandolin on tracks that include Janie & Me, Make Your Mama Proud, and Your Sweet Love provides a rich texture to the band’s superior Americana fare. In other words, Blue Dogs succeeded in making a 13-song album without hitting a bad note, and fans of Nickel Creek, Counting Crows, and John Mellencamp undoubtedly will be pleased.
Halos and Good Buys is available
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2004 The Music Box