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Jody Lee Petty

I’ve Done My Time

Review by Gary Hill

This disc brings several words and phrases to mind. “Genuine” is a quick reference. “Down home” works well, too. Jody Lee Petty presents a type of music that’s based in country, and is very reflective and honest within that genre. Country is a starting point, though. Other elements like Americana, rockabilly and rock show up on the disc. All are delivered through a country filter, but all are very real. Perhaps the best word to describe this set is just that, “real.” “Keeping it real” might be an urban term, but it applies well to this rural inspired release.

Those seeking a modern artist performing traditional country music with some rock flair will find plenty to like on this set. Jody Lee Petty’s songs are modern classics and his vocal delivery is timeless. This is the way country music should be done. It seems there is a new generation of country musicians playing real country music. Petty is definitely one of the better in the pack. The only flaw in this release is that it’s a little short. When the music is this consistently strong, it seems that it ends too soon. Of course, keeping them coming asking for more is a good way to build a loyal fan base.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Country Song and a Bible Verse

Petty opens the set with, “Country Song and a Bible Verse.” As one might gather from the title, the cut is very much a down home country tune. It’s got pedal steel and other country instrumentation. The verse is catchy and this is about as close to a modern take on the old-time country music as you’ll come. The lyrics, too, are very much in keeping with traditional country, “The place to turn when it really hurts / Is a country song and a bible verse.” That’s about as classic a country statement as you’ll find in any song.

I’ve Done My Time

The title track holds the second slot on the disc. It’s arguably the strongest number on show, making it a great choice for the title point. There’s a bit more of a rock texture to be heard, but plenty of country instruments bring a legitimate texture to the proceedings. At points the music feels a bit like The Outlaws, but the vocal delivery is completely country. It’s also powerful and honest. There is a classic rock guitar line on the tune.

Feels Good to be Country

“Feels Good to be Country” is even more down home than the first song. It’s got a bit of a rock vibe in terms of the rhythmic texture, but the lyrics and music really lean on the farm boy mythos. Still, it’s got a great groove. Everything on the disc is strong, but this one somehow shines a little brighter than some of the rest.

This Ole’ Truck

“This Ole’ Truck” starts off like a song about a girl. The funny thing is, it wouldn’t take much of a lyrical change for the lyrics to apply to a human female object of desire. “Mama called her ‘too fast’ / Maybe she’d been around the block more than me.” The double meanings of the cut make these lyrics very clever. Musically it’s definitely a modern, but traditional, country sound. It’s another great piece of music on a disc that’s full of them. The lyrics are certainly the best of the set.

Shotgun

The most modern country song of the set comes next in the form of “Shotgun.” It’s definitely rooted in real country, though. While this is no modern pop country, it would be at home on country radio because the hook and production have a modern sound.  The disc’s closer certainly falls along the lines of country rock. “Rockin On the River” calls to mind Alabama’s “Mountain Music.” The chorus is catchy and the music is faithful to old country textures.

 
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