Picks and Pans Review: Dusty Drake
Dusty Drake (Warner Bros. Nashville)
If you think a Northerner can't sing authentic country music, think again. This ingratiating first album from Drake, a Pennsylvanian, doesn't let his upbringing above the Mason-Dixon line stop him from putting across such songs as the down-home "Not Bad for a Good Ole Boy." Drake, who cowrote six of the 11 songs on the CD, also sings convincingly about farm life ("Too Wet to Plow"), the road ("Just Can't Take a Train"), coming of age ("Going on Eighteen") and broken hearts ("Smaller Pieces"). He does it all in a deep, mellifluous voice reminiscent of the man he cites as a big influence, John Anderson. Drake himself has described his music as "two wheels on the pavement, two wheels in the dirt." But that implies more of an outlaw quality than Drake actually demonstrates. His competition is John Michael Montgomery, not Toby Keith or Travis Tritt.
BOTTOM LINE: A country carpetbagger with talent
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