Get ready for this one country music lovers. Or, maybe I should say those of you who really enjoy a bit of southern rock and country soul mixed in with your traditional country. Because you are definitely getting a little bit of all of that in this new album from Rick Monroe.
Many of our Country’s Chatter readers are already familiar with Rick and his music. We’ve posted a number of articles about this artist. Rick keeps busy with his writing, recording, and performing. Last year alone he traveled more than 100,000 miles and played more than 120 shows. His impressive resume includes being a seven-time Jagermeister Country Brand Ambassador, opening for Dwight Yoakam, Montgomery Gentry, Patty Loveless, Trick Pony, Emerson Drive, Pat Green, Randy Houser, Josh Thompson, and many more.
Rick really gets to show off his talent as a songwriter. He wrote or co-wrote all 11 songs on “Smoke Out the Window.” Rick’s vocals are distinctly his own, and he has a voice you are going to recognize the second time you hear it. But, at the same time, his sound is a bit familiar. He reminded me a lot of Randy Houser and Ronnie Dunn.
Smoke Out The Window | Track Listing
1. Good As Gone (Rick Monroe, Matt Willis)
2. Cocaine Cold & Whiskey Shakes (Rick Monroe)
3. Smoke Out The Window (Adam Craig, Rick Monroe, Isaac Rich)
4. Nothing To Do With You (Jason Boyer, Rick Monroe, Ben Stevens)
5. I’ll Try (Marshall Dutton, Cody Hanson, Rick Monroe)
6. Truth In The Story (Sam Persons, Rick Monroe, JD Shuff)
7. Stomp (Randall Clay, Michael Howard, Rick Monroe)
8. Rage On (Rick Monroe, JD Shuff)
9. This Side Of The Dirt (Mike Freeman, Rick Monroe, Eric Torres)
10. October (Rick Monroe)
11. Tempt Me (Robert Deitch, Rick Monroe)
Produced by: JD Shuff
Those of you who read Country’s Chatter CD reviews, know we don’t just pop the new CD into the player and start writing. We leave it on at the office for a few days, and we sit around and talk about the music. You probably also remember that I always pick a favorite song. Sometimes that takes a while. I’ll pick one, and then change my mind, and I’ll pick another one. This time I think I got it right the first time. That song for me on this CD is “Nothing To Do With You”. The melody, the lyrics, the storyline, the whole thing made me want to listen more than once.
This ‘favorite of mine’ isn’t a choice I made without giving it a lot of though. In fact, there was a bit of a debate going on in the office. One thing we all agree on is that if “I’ll Try” isn’t going to be the favorite, it really has to get second place. In fact, “I’ll Try” is the one I would pick as my “let’s ship this to radio and see what happens” winner.
We’re talking about an album with 11 well-written, well-performed songs on it, so it probably isn’t even fair to say that we have a few favorites. All of the songs are good, and all of the songs stay with you. “Rage On” shows off Rick’s sultry voice, and seems to pull you in when you listen. “This Side of the Dirt” is about everyone’s life, I think. Life is hard, he admits that in this song, but even with that being the case – isn’t life always better on “This Side of the Dirt”.
“Tempt Me” was my surprise song. It’s a ballad. Most of the songs range from mid-tempo and slightly up-tempo, to flat our fast. “Rage On” and “October” are a bit slower, but this one is a really pretty, very romantic ballad. “There’s things I know and things I don’t. Most lines I crossed, you I won’t. I’ve been the victim of my sins, I’ve fought the devil and let him win. But, you tempt me, to be the man you believe me to be….” Wonderful, memorable, beautiful lyrics to a great song.
I can tell you that when we listened to this album, a few dozen times, there was not one song that any of us chose to skip over. If you enjoy listening to good music, this is an album that belongs in your library.
To keep up with all the latest news and show schedule, visit Rick’s website and Facebook page. He has several other social media links listed on his website, too, so be sure to check those out as well. And, you can follow him on Twitter @rickmonroe.
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