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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Bucky Brings the Goods

I’ve never been a big fan of Bucky Covington. And I’m not a country music fan.

So imagine my surprise when I found myself tapping my foot to “American Friday Night,” the opening number on Bucky’s self-titled debut. “Night” is a catchy tune about football and all of our other Friday night traditions.

But I figured that was just the first song. The CD would surely get worse, so I kept listening…

The next track is “A Different World,” Bucky’s first single, which I still have a difficult time believing is him. It’s a pretty standard country song, but the lyrics about the way life used to be are pretty catchy.

“World” leads into another male country standard, the tearjerker. “I’ll Walk” is the story of a girl who becomes paralyzed in an accident after she has a fight with her boyfriend on prom night. Though the ending is not as dramatic as it could be, it’s hard not to feel the tug on your heartstrings.

Next is “Back When We Were Gods,” which tells the story of a guy reminiscing about his high school glory days. “Ain’t No Thing” features the return of the raspy Bucky voice we’re familiar with. “I’m Good” is Bucky’s plea to God to help him win the heart of the deacon’s daughter. “Empty Handed” has a rock edge, while “Hometown” goes gospel. “It’s Good to Be Us” is an upbeat track like “American Friday Night.” “Carolina Blue” has a pop sound and “The Bible and the Belt” goes hard-core country by telling the story of a bad kid turned good thanks to his mother’s bible and his father’s belt.

When “Belt” came to an end, I kept waiting to hear the dud song. But “Belt” was the last song on the CD, and there had not been a dud in the bunch.

That’s right. “Bucky Covington” is outstanding.

I could tell on the “Idol” tour that Bucky had been working on his voice, but I never expected this. The closest thing to a bad song is “Ain’t No Thing,” but even it is so catchy you can forgive Bucky’s slightly overboard vocals.

Mark Miller (of Sawyer Brown), who gave Bucky his break, and Dale Oliver do an excellent job producing the disc. And Bucky has been given some great material by some excellent songwriters. The standout track is “Carolina Blue,” which was co-written by Bucky himself.

And kudos to Lyric Street Records for once again recognizing the country talents of an “Idol” finalist (Josh Gracin is also a Lyric Street artist.).

Now, before you tell me that computers and good production can make anything sound good, I suggest you check out Bucky’s performance on “Live With Regis and Kelly” at www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGzcxOB_4vk.

Don’t look now, kids, but this guy can sing—and he’s got a great album to prove it.

“Bucky Covington” hits stores Tuesday, April 17th. Bucky will be in the “Idol” audience April 18th and will appear on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” April 19th.

By the way, “A Different World” now sits at #25 on the Billboard country chart...

Photo courtesy of Lyric Street Records

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