Black Music Matters Festival

George Ducas

Where I Stand – 1997 (Capitol)

Reviewed by Brian Wahlert

CDs by George Ducas

With his 1994 debut album, George Ducas joined Dwight Yoakam and Marty Stuart in a small group of artists writing and singing traditional country music yet managing to sound fresh and modern at the same time.

Here, once again with the help of producer and guitarist Richard Bennett, Ducas proves his debut was no fluke. "You Could've Fooled Me" and "Heartaches and Dreams" are jangly country-pop songs with a big, highly electrified sound. "I'm Pretending" is a traditional honky-tonk two-step, and "The Invisible Man," with its plaintive instrumentation and Vince Gill singing backup, is an old-time country weeper. Right in the middle of the album, however, Ducas throws listeners a curve: the Tex-Mex number, "Tricky Moon."That song and the alternately sultry and urgent "Stay the Night" were both co-written by Ducas and Tia Sellers, the same team that brought the wonderful top-five smash "Lipstick Promises" to his debut.

On the whole, Ducas continues to mine the same field as on his debut, and once again, the result has gold written all over it.