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Times Like These
     

Times Like These

by Buddy Jewell
 

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Don't be misled: Beneath his burly-boy image, Buddy Jewell is a genuine sensitive guy, but with a zero wimp factor. Sturdy, big-hearted balladeering is what he does best, and he does it often on this, his sophomore album. Banjo, fiddle, organ, pedal steel, and an infectious stomping beat drive the opening tune, "Me Loving You," in which Jewell pledges to "be faithful

Overview

Don't be misled: Beneath his burly-boy image, Buddy Jewell is a genuine sensitive guy, but with a zero wimp factor. Sturdy, big-hearted balladeering is what he does best, and he does it often on this, his sophomore album. Banjo, fiddle, organ, pedal steel, and an infectious stomping beat drive the opening tune, "Me Loving You," in which Jewell pledges to "be faithful and true," and sings unashamedly of making a fool of himself for the sake of love. Good man. Taking chances and learning to live with the consequences, for ill or good -- especially when it comes to falling in love -- is the message of "You Ain't Doin' It Right," an infectious mid-tempo toe-tapper. Getting a tad swampy and funky, Jewell sings the praises of a woman who's stuck with him through hard times and kept his feet "on solid ground," in a keening billet-doux, "If She Were Any Other Woman." A beautiful country-pop item, "Dyess, Arkansas" floats along on a sing-song melody reminiscent of a Mac Davis tune, and Jewell offers up a fine, low-key vocal in singing the praises of the unchanging small town and its received values; it happens to be the same town Johnny Cash grew up in, and the acutely observed details of life in Dyess are worthy of the Man in Black's appreciation of the little things that matter. Producer Garth Fundis keeps it country with ample flourishes of fiddle, pedal steel, harmonica, and twang-rich guitar, and Jewell applies his husky baritone in precisely the right proportions to be an effective belter, although he really thrives on the more introspective numbers, when he can dig down for some soulful musings on the state of the heart. This fellow figures to be around a while.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Buddy Jewell won the first Nashville Star competition in 2003, propelling him to a number one country album later that year, as well as two singles that peaked at number three on the country charts. All this success wasn't because his music was remarkable -- it was because Jewell cut a likable figure on TV. As a professional demo singer, he had technical skills and a pleasing voice, he was an attractive everyman, and (best of all) he was middle-aged, the kind of singer who wouldn't get a break in the music biz unless it was a stroke of luck, like a televised talent contest. With Jewell in his forties, the show illustrated that it could help break somebody who didn't appear to be a conventional new country star, while giving the audience an emotional bond to the winner, since they felt that they helped give this guy the chance of a lifetime. All of these were factors in Jewell's stardom, since the music itself was standard, by the books Music City country, professionally crafted but never taking any risks. His debut was a success based entirely on his personality and back story, since his voice, as nice as it is, doesn't stand out from the crowd -- unless it's given a big showcase, as it was on Nashville Star. Perhaps this musical conservatism was expected on a debut that was designed to establish Buddy Jewell as a commercial force outside of the TV show that made him, but instead of stretching out on his 2005 follow-up, Times Like These, Jewell not only follows the same blueprint he did on his eponymous first album, but takes even fewer risks this time around. Working with producer Garth Fundis, Jewell has a set of 11 songs (four of them bearing his writing credit, two of them he penned on his own), heavy on ballads and laid-back midtempo country-pop. In fact, there's not even an uptempo cut for a change of pace; instead, it's all earnest, sentimental, and slick, crafted with the radio in mind, since the hook is in the glossy production, not in melodic choruses. Jewell sings sweetly and sincerely, which is enough to make this pleasant mood music, maybe for office work or a lazy afternoon, but not enough to give Times Like These a distinctive personality. However, to his legions of fans, Buddy Jewell already has a distinctive personality because of his starring role on TV -- they know his history, they like him, they're rooting for him. To them, he's treated like any other star, as appealing for his personality as he is for his work, but for anybody who didn't follow Nashville Star and just heard his music on the radio or listened to Times Like These without knowing the back story, Buddy Jewell would come across as pleasant but generic and ultimately kind of forgettable.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/31/2006
Label:
Sbme Special Mkts.
UPC:
0886970221429
catalogNumber:
702214

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Buddy Jewell   Primary Artist,Vocal Harmony
Lloyd Green   Dobro
Richard Lloyd   Bass
Mickey Raphael   Harmonica
Eddie Bayers   Percussion,Drums
J.T. Corenflos   Electric Guitar
Stuart Duncan   Fiddle,Mandolin
Garth Fundis   Vocal Harmony
Shannon Forrest   Drums
Larry Franklin   Fiddle
Paul Franklin   Dobro,Steel Guitar
Vince Gill   Vocal Harmony
John Hobbs   Organ,Piano
Brent Mason   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Guitar (Nylon String)
Billy Panda   Acoustic Guitar
Michael Rhodes   Bass
Harry Stinson   Vocal Harmony
Reese Wynans   Organ,fender rhodes
Dave Ristrim   Steel Guitar
Bryan Sutton   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo
Wes Hightower   Vocal Harmony
Kenneth Smith   Drums
Troy Engle   Fiddle
Marty Slayton   Vocal Harmony

Technical Credits

Rick Bowles   Composer
Walt Aldridge   Composer
Jeff Balding   Engineer
Brett Beavers   Composer
Marc Beeson   Composer
Garth Fundis   Producer
Connie Harrington   Composer
Sonny LeMaire   Composer
Josh Leo   Composer
J.B. Rudd   Composer
Vip Vipperman   Composer
Craig Wiseman   Composer
Paul Jefferson   Composer
Tony Lane   Composer
Tracy Baskette-Fleaner   Art Direction
Kelley Lovelace   Composer
Annie Tate   Composer
Sam Tate   Composer
Brad Crisler   Composer
Jimmy Ritchey   Composer
Buddy Jewell   Composer
Deb Haus   Art Direction,Artist Development
Sylvia Meiler   Creative Producer
Paula Jehle Turner   grooming,Groomer
Chad Carlson   Engineer
D. Vincent Williams   Composer

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