My Kind of Country

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Tag Archives: Mark Hodges

Album Review: Dave Adkins – ‘Nothing To Lose’

nothing to loseBluegrass singer Dave Adkins has a powerful booming voice which grabs the listener’s attention from the first note and never lets go. This is his first solo album, and it is an impressive one which showcases the artist’s passionate vocals and his band’s excellent musicianship on some fine songs.  It was produced by the artist with Edgar Loudermilk and Mark Hodges, and they do a nice job providing pure bluegrass backings.

The soulful ‘Mistaken Heart’ has the protagonist awaking from past errors.  The upbeat ‘Put Some Grass In It’ modestly proclaims the joys of making bluegrass music, whether or not he’s a star. This one is highly entertaining.

The dramatically delivered and emotionally moving ballad ‘Don’t Pray That Way’ is a story song about a woman given a terminal diagnosis who unselfishly asks her husband not to pray for her, but for others:

Don’t ask for me to live one extra day

Don’t pray that way

Pray for those who’re scared and all alone

Pray for those who’s lost

They’ll find their way home

Very moving.

‘I Can’t Even Walk’ is an emotion-filled gospel tune with the protagonist declaring his own helplessness before God:

Down on my knees

Is where I learned to stand

I thought of myself as a mighty big man

But I can’t even walk

Without you holding my hand

‘Silence Is Golden’ is a passionate ballad about the heartbreak of a broken home with a wry payback to the lyric as the protagonist looks around at his empty house:

My net worth is growing

If silence is golden

‘Pretty Little Liar’ is a more subdued ballad about disillusionment with a spouse, which is well done but not quite as impressive as the bigger songs which seem to fit Adkins’s natural style better.  ‘Nothing To Lose’ picks up the tempo although the mood remains down.

‘Pike County Jail’ is a fast paced tale of an incarcerated moonshiner planning on changing his ways once he is released.  ‘Tennessee Twister’ and ‘At Least It Wasn’t Life’ are very well played and sung up-tempo numbers, but a little more generic.

A great cover of country classic ‘Tennessee Whiskey’ shows off Dave’s big voice and is a highlight.

Opening acappella, ‘Moonshine In Moonlight’ offers a fond memory of a churchgoing childhood.

I was very impressed by this album by an artist new to me, but whose voice marks him out.  I look forward to hearing more – and in the meantime I plan on checking out the album he recorded with former band Republik Steele.

Grade: A