Heralded by critics and admired by fans like Lucinda Williams for his dark and challenging lyrics, Hayseed returns for the follow-up to 1998's acclaimed "Melic." This time around, however, the Kentucky native has put down his pen and relied mostly on the words of fellow Nashville songwriters such as Tim Carroll, Tommy Womack, Paul Burch and Gwil Owen.
And there's no need for disappointment since Hayseed, born Christopher Wyant, appears to be just as good at picking songs as he is penning them. Furthermore, Hayseed has a voice - his only instrument and one that is chock full of Kentucky - that brings heaviness and life to most everything he sings, even on a somewhat silly song like Womack's "When Country Singers Were Ugly." In addition to quality compositions from the previously mentioned artists, there are also songs written by Richard "Hombre" Price, who also plays guitar or bass on every track and contributes "Irah June," and Dottie Rambo, a fellow Kentuckian who Hayseed honors here with a solid rendition of "Too Much to Gain to Lose." Emmylou Harris joins him on a stripped down, but rousing version of "Farther Along." Outstanding, in other words. (Box 50967, Sarasota, Fl 34232, E-Mail: Hayseed)