Black Music Matters Festival

Dave Insley

Here With You Tonight – 2006 (DIR)

Reviewed by Brian Baker

See it on Amazon

CDs by Dave Insley

Dave Insley's relocation from Arizona to Austin has focused and framed his dusty desert country sound as evidenced on his sophomore album. Like his excellent debut from last year, "Call Me Lonesome," Insley lopes his way through Western swing, country, folk, Tex-Mex and gospel, sounding like he's channeling the living spirit of Willie Nelson all the while.

Dare yourself not to think of the red-headed stranger when Insley rolls through the country gospel nod of "God Loves the Working Man" (and its pure Willie lyrical sentiment; "Jesus was a long hair and he wore those Roman sandals like no Okie would..."), the swing balladry of "You're the One I Prefer" (a duet with promising newcomer Amanda Cunningham), or the traditional weep of "Cashed in My Old Life."

For all his obvious Willie-isms, Insley's success on both albums stem from his completely natural songwriting style and his limber performing chops, which is neither forced nor contrived to earn comparison. Besides, you don't get name checked against one of the greatest songwriters on the planet without a whole lot of talent to back it up and Dave Insley's got that and then some.