George Jones's bar stool is a mighty big one to fill, but this 33-year-old Louisianan may be the guy to do it. With a weepy-twangy Jonesian voice and an ear for oops-there-goes-my-life songs, Kershaw (third cousin to guitarist Doug) may be the best public sufferer among the younger generation of country singers.
This debut includes a memorable breakin'-up song, Larry Bastian and Dewayne Blackwell's "Yard Sale" ("They're sortin' through what's left of you and me"). "Anywhere But Here" is a fitting monument to alienation, and Mark Petersen's "Cadillac Style" gives Kershaw another chance to feel sorry for himself—"I ain't Burt Reynolds and I ain't Tom Selleck/ I got bills up the pike and my car's an old relic."
Not just a complainer, Kershaw is a very musical singer who takes full advantage of the Nashville veterans backing him. But don't take the Jones comparisons too literally, Sammy. Since you've been married three times already, you can ease up on the hard living for a while. (Mercury)