Larry Bagby – On the Radio

Larry Bagby – On the Radio / 2007 Self / 6 Tracks / http://www.larrybagby.com /

“I’m Alright Tonight” plays at two different styles; there is a classic, almost 19th-century country sound to the opening guitar riffs to the track, but the vocals and piano seem to paint a much more contemporary sound. Larry Bagby provides these vocals, which are smoothed-out, lending individuals the ability to find something similar to a Willie Nelson or Garth Brooks in contemporary music. The storytelling ability of Bagby on “On the Radio” is without comparison; one can literally hear bits and pieces of the best singer-songwriters, whether it be Warren Zevon or even Randy Newman. The instrumentation does not stray far from where it began during “I’m Alright Tonight”, but it goes forth and lifts up Bagby’s vocals at all the right times.

One cannot hope for a better opening, and Bagby does not disappoint with the more up-tempo follow-up to “I’m Alright Tonight”, “Player With A Heart”. The slightly sly and humorous subject material present on this track reflects another thread in country music that Bagby caters to; this humorous style is given further energy with the inclusion of a sizzling guitar line that straddles the line between country and rock music. The strength of “Player With A Heart” is not this humor, nor is it the aforementioned guitar riffs, but is rather the linkages crafted by the band. Each instrument ebbs and flows into something that can only be described as Bagby’s second straight hit on “On The Radio”. “Done Givin’ Love” showcases another stylistic shift by Larry Bagby. This track will please many of the contemporary country fans in the audience, as it has heavy pop and rock influences, while drawing away some of the instrumental arrangements and sounds (like the slide guitar) that marked earlier tracks.

These inclusions and exclusions make the track into something that more closely resembles a Lenny Kravitz track than a Merle Haggard one. That is not a bad thing, as it gives individuals yet another way to see Bagby. “On The Radio” may only have six cuts to it, but the amount and density of music that is present on this Bagby release is immense. The replay value is high, and individuals will undoubtedly keep the album in their players until that time when Bagby can release eir next full-length album. For fans of country, of solid music, and of charismatic leads, “On The Radio” may just be the best release in the country genre for summer 2007.

Top Track: I’m Alright Tonight

Rating: 6.5/10

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University.

I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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