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Jeff Mamett

Carry Me Back – 2019 ( Self-released)

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

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CDs by Jeff Mamett

Jeff Mamett has the traditional country sound down complete with vocals reminiscent of Ernest Tubb or Junior Brown. Mamet wrote all 12 tunes ranging from classic country, Tex-Mex, western swing and a touch of outlaw country. He is at his best on uptempo tracks such as the opening "Poor House Road" about the economic challenges of earlier times ("Patches on our patches/Things we had were few") and "Long Time Gone" featuring a hot lead guitar solo from Brent Wilson.

The bouncy western swing of "Jiggle In Her Wiggle" is driven by Tigar Bell on the fiddle while the moody Tex-Mex ballad "Dark Spanish Eyes" features Chris Tuttle on accordion. The ballad "Same Old Moon" ("The night moth's circling the phone booth light/I wish that I could fly/I dig for change and words to bridge the miles") sounds like it could have been a mainstream hit in the '80s for George Strait or John Anderson, while the narrative style of "Take It Slow" ("Grandpa liked to stroll/He would stop and smell the flowers") recalls Tom T. Hall. Other highlights are the bluesy "Spinning My Wheels" with a Waylon Jennings feel to it and the closing "An Outlaw's Song" ("Livin's just like dying/For an outlaw on the run") in the mode of Robert Earl Keen.

The backing is stellar throughout led most prominently by multi-instrumentalist/producer Wayne Addleman (pedal steel, slide guitar, resophonic guitar, lap steel, mandolin), a member of Trace Adkins' band. With strong performances, solid tunes and Mamett's effective monotone vocals, this is a fun listen.