My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Daily Archives: September 14, 2011

Classic Rewind: Rosanne Cash and Carl Perkins – ‘What Kinda Girl’

Single Review: Trent Tomlinson – ‘A Man Without A Woman’

It’s been a while since we’ve heard from former Lyric Street artist Trent Tomlinson, best known for ‘One Wing In The Fire’ which just missed the top ten back in 2006. Now signed to independent label Skyville, he is back with a solid new single.

Structured as a simple three verse song with a different story presented in each, all on the theme of the helplessness of a man without a woman in his life. Apparently,

That’s a man without a woman
Lonely and lost, no use at all
A boat without an ocean
Talk about somethin’
That ain’t much good for nothin’

As so often with this kind of song, each of the stories feels a little underwritten individually, and their differing circumstances do feel a bit disjointed.

In the first verse we have a 25-year-old single man who spends his free time drinking and his working hours dealing with the consequent hangover. This is the least fleshed out section, because there is no indication of the back story: is he “without a woman” because his girlfriend has left him, or has he spent so much time partying he has never managed to settle down in the first place? In the second verse a thirtysomething is struggling to look after his home and kids while his presumably more competent wife is away. It is possible that this is a sequel to the first verse, with the same guy having grown up, as it follows on from the first verse and chorus with the lines,

Wakes up and he’s 36
Got a house, two cars and kids

However, Lonely Man #3, who carries the emotional weight of the song, is clearly a new character, a man in his eighties who has been widowed and misses the love of his life, and is just waiting to die.

But any lack of depth is compensated for by an attractive, gentle tune and the excellent performance. A fine, plaintively delivered vocal is sympathetically supported by the solidly country production with prominent fiddle and steel. This is really enjoyable listening, and there should be more singles like this on country radio.

Grade: A-

The song is streaming at Tomlinson’s Skyville artist page.