On a Good Night (Columbia, 1996)
Reviewed by Dan Kuchar
They say lightening never strikes twice in the same place. Wade Hayes and producers Don Cook and Chick Rains haven't heard. Everything about Hayes' second album is an effort to duplicate the formula that worked so well on Hayes' debut. Along with the tunes penned by Hayes and Rains again you'll find one each from Jim McBride and Brooks & Dunn. Again, the tunes spring to life behind Hayes' beefy baritone, slithering guitar playing and swaggering grooves. While the songs don't quite measure up to the singles on the first album, they grow on you with repeated listening. Hayes is maturing as a singer as well. Although he still sings mostly in his trademark lower register, he soars easily up into a powerful second tenor ( "Where Do I Go To Start All Over"). The highlight is the Waylon-ish "This Is The Life For Me," an autobiographical ode to Hayes' honky-tonk roots. Hayes proves again that for him, every night is a good night.
CDs by Wade Hayes