My Kind of Country

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

Tag Archives: Mike Headrick

Album Review: Shane Worley – ‘Mister Purified Country’

Mister Purified CountryIt’s easy to get discouraged by the state of today’s country radio and the majority of major-label releases. But there are still artists out there making real country music, even if most of them are on independent labels and can be hard to track down sometimes. One singer I’ve been interested in for a while is Shane Worley, a Tennesseean with a rich baritone voice with strong echoes of Merle Haggard in his vocal stylings. He has in fact recorded a tribute album to Merle, Feeling Haggard, as well as a handful of albums of good original material over the past ten years or so.

Shane is exactly the kind of singer who would be regarded as too country for today’s country radio, but he has found a sympathetic home on the indie Country Discovery records, with label head and producer Mike Headrick responsible for all his recorded output. The production is solidly country, with the producer himself (a former Music Row session musician) playing steel, dobro, harmonica and bass, and providing several songs, starting with the opening track, ‘Two Beers Ago’, which he wrote with Ruthie Steele and D Hagan, with the late Vern Gosdin in mind. Shane isn’t quite Vern Gosdin, but he is a very good singer in his own right, and he dedicates his performance of this song, and the album as a whole, to Vern, who was one of his main influences. The song is an ironic yet agonized look at a man who gets a birthday call from his ex, takes to the bottle and finds it doesn’t help at all:

“I’ve been through hell
But I stopped missing you
Two beers ago.”

Also very good is Headrick’s ‘The Right To Be Wrong’, a classic-sounding (with the late, legendary, Don Helms guesting on steel) appeal for another chance by a man who has driven away his wife by his drinking:

“You have a right to be set free
If you can’t stay here with me
After all the pain I’ve caused you for so long
You have the right to make a stand
And to take off your wedding band…

Don’t make this one mistake
That will add to our heartache
Though it’s true you have the right to be wrong.”

Headrick’s other offerings are the enjoyable, if slightly unfocussed lyrically, ‘Sweet Revenge’, inspired by the old saying “Hell has no fury like a woman scorned”, and the cheerful love song ‘Out Of The Blue’, which has one memorable line (“I knew there had to be more to life than wishing I was dead”), but is the least distinguished cut on the album.

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