Full Tilt Boogie
James Scott Bullard
2018 - Big Mavis Music. It is hard to believe that this is our first introduction to James Scott Bullard, considering this is his ninth release and sixth LP release. James Scott does his best to carry on the Outlaw mentality with the songs chosen for this album. This project consists of ten songs that at times blend together as Bullard harmonizes each of the tunes with the same baseline performance. James’ style is a mix of southern rock meets Country Outlaw. Musically, this combination is quite fascinating and intoxicating as found in “Wicked Ways.” However, when I dissect each of the songs on this album, I find that James Scott Bullard can only sing one melody. Throughout the album, this melody continues to remain obscured by the instrumentals. There is one song that the baseline melody is such a complete contrast from the rest that it is surprisingly stunning. “Hey, Hey Mama,” contains a playful banter mixed with masterful lyrics that creates a rollicking southern rock tune. Another song that is worth mentioning is “Jesus, Jail, or Texas.” This too contains a spirited storyline mixed with a strong southern rock mentality. I wonder what this song would sound like if Toby Keith were to polish it in his musical style. James Scott Bullard claims that he wrote all ten songs, nonetheless when I came to “Back To You,” I have to question his credibility as the introduction to the song is relatively close to The Allman Brothers’ song “Midnight Rider.” The difference between the two is found in the tempo. For a southern rock artist who wants to sound like one of the Country Outlaws, he sure does not have the correct vocal pitch. Nonetheless, at times he is able to pull it off. Other than, the two songs mentioned, I cannot see acquiring this album. $$-$$$
(This review was printed in the May / June 2018 issue of Strictly Country Magazine.)
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