Time Changes Everything
2018 - Mountain Fever Records. The boys of Nothin’ Fancy are wonderfully talented vocally and musically, therefore, I question why they would include so many cover songs on their projects? This new project includes twelve songs in which four are originals. If you have done the math, then you will find that leaves eight cover songs. The cover songs include Glen Campbell’s “Less of Me,” Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right,” Tom Paxton’s 1962 single “I Can’t Help But Wonder Where I’m Bound,” Dave Matthews 1989 spiritual hit song “The Maker,” the 1971 song “Last Lonely Eagle” originally recorded by New Riders of The Purple Sage, and “That Home Far Away” which has been recorded by many artists including the Stanley Brothers and Doyle Lawson. Even the title cut, “Time Changes Everything,” is a cover of the 1940 hit song originally recorded by The Texas Playboys. I will give credit to Nothin’ Fancy for their pristine recordings of these covers, especially when it comes to “Last Lonely Eagle.” However, when your band consists of the writing talents of Mike Andes and Caleb Cox, there really is no need to seek other songs. Personally, I would love to hear an album from this band filled with original material. The originals on this album include “The Footsteps That I’ve Followed,” a wonderful poignant song about the difficulties that life throws at each of us. Band member Caleb Cox takes the lead in a song he wrote called “Where The Good Lord Only Knows.” This song features a great storyline about a young man who leaves home, then returns as an old man to live out his days. There is another original song written by Caleb Cox with “Please Say Anything.” Performed as a classic country two-step, I can certainly hear Mark Chesnutt bring this one to life, as it really does not resonate with the Bluegrass mentality. The one thing you can expect on any album from these people is a song for soldiers as they reside in an area rich deep in Civil War history. On this project, you will find “A Soldier’s Love,” a beautiful ballad about the love that a soldier has for his wife and the difficulties they face when he marches off to war. Each of these songs are splendid, however, there is not enough vitality to draw our attention to promote them. I know that Nothin’ Fancy can create beautiful music as I have heard it from them before. It is my belief that they are going for quantity rather than quality with their music. Perhaps this is due to their contract with their record label, but then again it may not be. The talent is there for them, they just need to focus on bringing it forward with their own original songs. $$ - $$$
(This article was printed in the November / December 2018 issue of Strictly Country Magazine.)
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