Black Music Matters Festival

John Anderson

Bigger Hands – 2009 (Country Crossing)

Reviewed by Robert Loy

See it on Amazon

Listening to John Anderson's new CD is taking a trip back in time, to an era in country music history (not that long ago, believe it or not) when talent was all that mattered. You didn't have to be drop-dead gorgeous or Playgirl-centerfold hunky to be a country star because how you sounded was more important than how you looked on CMT. It's a testament to Anderson's talent that he's managed to survive this long into the video age despite being, well, he's no hotty.

Of course, time-travel can be a mixed blessing too, in that you must take the bitter (songs based on wordplay that would make even pun-lovers groan Hawaia in Hawaii Shorty's Long Gone) with the sweet (the rocking morning-after blues confusion of How Can I Be So Thirsty political commentary that doesn't just wave the flag and salute the veteran They're Shuttin' Detroit Down (he wrote it with John Rich).

Anderson even has a song about growing up What Used to Turn Me On that's guaranteed to fly over the heads of young people, current country's music's target demographic. The first single, Cold Coffee and Hot Beer, is not exactly racing up the charts, but that that says more about modern tastes than it does about Anderson, since the song is as quirkily catchy as his signature song Swingin'.