Deryl Dodd has managed to hang around despite just a bit of commercial success through two albums. A bought with viral encephilatis did not help. The one thing that continues is the quality. Though a bit bright sounding from a production standpoint, the proud Texan keeps it country musically and vocally with his expressive baritone.
That means lots of steel (RobbyTurner) and twangy guitar (Steve Rhian). When Dodd goes the tonk route ("She'll Have You Back," "On Earth As It Is In Texas" and "Honky Tonk Champagne"), he doesn't come off like a dilettante. He knows how to swing on the opener title track, a humorous, but somewhat silly song about why his baby likes him. This is not a by-the-numbers affair either. Dodd, who wrote all but 3 of the 13 songs, goes solo acoutistc on the optimistic closer "Where the River Flows" for something different. Dodd's version of Gordon Lightfoot's "Sundown" sounds a bit smooth, yet works well enough.
But what's the need to reprise "That's How I Got to Memphis," "A Bitter End" and "One Ride in Vegas"? They're fine songs, but once was enough. Chalk up another strong effort.