Fans of Atlanta's late, great Vidalias will be happy to know Charles Walston, that band's lead singer, has resurfaced in the nation's capitol with the Bourbon Dynasty. Walston, a journalist turned political speechwriter, penned all dozen songs on this entertaining debut.
His ability to conjure up heartache, regret and hell-raising with subtle yet passionate vocals recalls Dave Marr, the former frontman for the Star Room Boys, another much missed Georgia group.
The focus here isn't exclusively country, with the Bourbon Dynasty incorporating blues and bar rock touches and using such instrumentation as trombone and saxophone as well as female backup singers. Former Vidalia Page Waldrop lends his pedal steel and guitar talents.
Walston displays his sharp wit on songs such as "Satan Wore Satin" and the funny, rocking "Girl in the Checkout Line," of whom he sings, "She's puttin' the 'wiggle' in the Piggly Wiggly." But simple, honest songs are Walston's specialty, and he delivers over and over: the soulful "Not the Crying Kind," the catchy, horn-driven "The Habit of Doing Wrong" and "On Faith Alone," featuring Bob Craver's terrific down-and-out guitar work. The album-ending, Thin Lizzy-gone-gospel "Pay the Price" is the perfect send off for this glorious debut - and welcome back for the multi-talented Walston.