I’m just gonna slip off muh boots and hunker down by that there campfire and take in the stars above muh head…
If Dave Munsick were a stick of rock, and you cut him in half, it would say ‘authentic’ right the way through him. Here is an album of unbridled (yes, I chose that adjective deliberately!) joy in country music.
It’s not often that music is this pure and unsullied by cynical concerns or musical trends: these songs are loved pieces of work that have been beautifully arranged, wonderfully played, and crisply, cleanly produced to highlight the songwriting, the genre, the playing and Dave Munsick’s voice. Dave’s collaborators are described as ‘top notch Nashville musicians’, and that is readily apparent from the get-go! Wonderful slide, fiddle, banjo, accordion… just wonderful!
There is some intricate playing going on, but so clean is the capture, and clear the producer’s vision, that the fiddly (again, I deliberately chose that adjective!) lead lines don’t detract from the song’s narrative or from Dave’s gentle story-telling tones.
The album opens with Tequila and immediately surprises as the title refers to a horse’s moniker rather than being an ode to the obliterative qualities attributed to the drink.
Dave’s voice has the right level of gravitas and directness to deliver stories, and a sweet and gentle vibrato that ends phrases with a tidy elan. It’s treated with a warm reverb that suits the material beautifully.
There are guest spots (like the duet on Lying In Your Loving Arms Again) and sensational, confident, measured playing throughout, and I’d like to wheel out the phrase ‘labour of love’ to describe the collection at this point. It’s just superb!