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David Olney: One Tough Town (2007)

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How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

David Olney: One Tough Town
Judging by the CD cover artwork, you might assume that Nashville-based singer/songwriter David Olney is one tough hombre. He's a modern-day soothsayer who pokes some fun at life's circumstances via socio-lyricism that elicits chuckles and contemplation. Highly-revered, Olney combines blues-country and rock amid some ragtag jazz in spots. Nonetheless, he gets his message across with the gait and intentions of a gent who lived the experiences he sings about.

No doubt, Olney surfaces as a man of wisdom here, but his entertaining parables equate to an artist who is clever and keenly observant. On "Who's The Dummy Now, the singer and his band convey a roadhouse-like Dixieland motif, where he communicates an after-hours nightclub groove, littered with empty beer bottles and dank cigar smoke.

Olney's a mystic and means business when he declares his intentions of knocking some sense into the local town-folk. During the low-key acoustic guitar driven "No Lies, he's seemingly writing a love-letter, proclaiming his intent upon drowning his sorrows in whiskey, to complement his opaque delineation between honesty and deceit.

The fun continues on the gospel-hued Delta Blues vamp "See How The Mighty Have Fallen. But the album's secret is uncovered during the country-folk title track, where Olney globalizes the "One Tough Town insinuation into the vastness of planet earth. Witty, humorous and slightly cantankerous, Olney's at the very top of his game.

Track Listing: Whistle Blow; Sweet Poison; Who's The Dummy Now?; Little Mustang; No Lies; Oh Yeah (Dead Man's Shoes);Snake Song; Panama City; Sweet Potato; See How The Mighty Have Fallen; One Tough Town; Postcard From Mexico; Rainbow's End.

Personnel: David Olney: guitars, ukulele, bones, laughter,harmonica, vocals; Dave Roe: bass; Craig Wright: percussion; Bill Huber: tuba, trombone; Jim Hoke: clarinet; Jack Irwin: slap box, piano; Richard Bailey: banjo; Sergio Webb: electric guitar; Bobby Daniels: vocals.

Record Label: Red Parlor

Style: Beyond Jazz


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