When I learned that T.G. Sheppard had a new album releasing soon, I was so excited! Having been raised on country music, and finding today’s ‘country’ less appealing than the style currently classified as ‘classic’, I was glad that my preferred music style was going to once again be available for sale via CD and/or iTunes.
T.G.Sheppard was one of my mom’s favorite artists, so his music was a staple in my childhood home. During that same time, the Oak Ridge Boys were at the top of the charts, along with Ricky Skaggs, Conway Twitty and cousins Jerry Lee and Mickey.
Not only has T.G.Sheppard brought us a modern CD, but he has brought all the above mentioned stars with him. His CD, available for purchase on Oct. 30th, featured duets with the mighty Oaks, the late and greats George Jones and Conway Twitty, along with Ricky Skaggs and ‘The Killer’ himself, Mr. Jerry Lee Lewis.
I received a promo CD in the mail yesterday, and I just can’t rave enough about this modern, classic country CD! It has bluegrass and gospel, a thumping piano tune in one or two songs and the kind of musical style and tone standard in the classic country genre.
I have posted a small summary/review of the first half of the CD, and will share my thoughts on the second half of the CD next week.
- ‘Down on my Knees’ –featuring the Oak Ridge Boys
The first track on the CD really seemed to provide a summary of the entire CD. Featuring a strong, and much appreciated bluegrass overtone, this song provided the typical gospel sound, along with strong quartet background vocals from the Oak Ridge Boys.
- ‘The Killer’-featuring Jerry Lee Lewis
I was hooked halfway through the opening line, belted out by ‘The Killer’ himself. He sang, “They don’t call me the Killer for nothing”. T.G. reveals where he was when first hearing ‘Whole lotta shakin’ goin on’ and goes on to talk about his experience at a JLL concert: “He burned the piano down, as he played ‘Great Balls of Fire’; He killed us all, as the flames went higher”
Another great line performed by Jerry Lee: “I haven’t gone anywhere, but man, I ‘m still really something.”
This song has the amazing piano sound that fans have come to expect from Lewis. Throw in some good old rock ‘n roll and you have the ultimate tribute song.
- ‘Why me, Lord?’ with the late, great Conway Twitty
What an amazing song, combined with two country stars. The blending of Conway’s voice with T.G.’s is pure harmony, providing an emotional feel to the gospel staple.
- ‘Song Man’ with Merle Haggard
“Does anyone need a good song man?”, the song asks. If so, look no further than Merle and T.G. They have songs about right and wrong, heaven and hell. This song features the classic country sound that has been absent for too many years. Kudos to Mr. Sheppard for bringing back ‘real’ country music!
- ‘Fifteen rounds with Jose Cuervo’-with Delbert McClinton
Mexico. Liquor. Need I say more? Fun song with great a Mexican spirit and sound.
- ‘The Next One’-with Lorrie Morgan
This one has more of a jazz feeling, like a great jazz nightclub song. Lorrie Morgan sounds fantastic in this cut, and she and T.G. Sheppard paint a clear picture with their harmonies and lyrics.
- 100% chance of Pain’-featuring BJ Thomas and Jimmy Fortune
This song features awesome sounding harmonies by Jimmy Fortune, and it was a great to hear something new from BJ Thomas as well. Just a few songs into the new album, and I just can’t stop thinking how great it is to hear modern ‘classic country’ music!
- ‘It’s a Man Thing’-with George Jones
Guitars kick this song off. Along with the help of the late, great George Jones, T.G. Sheppard explains what it’s like to a guy. A ‘typical day in the life of a man’ is the best way to sum up this fun song.
- ‘Wine to Remember, Whiskey to Forget’-with Mickey Gilley
The fiddles open this song, setting the tone. Enter classic country lyrics at its’ best: heartbreak and liquor. This is classic country gold, but gets even better when Mr. Mickey Gilley belts out a verse or two. So far, this is one of my favorite cuts on the CD.
So, I have reviewed the first half of the CD, and want to share with you that the second half is just as great!
The remaining songs include duets with Kelly Lang and Ricky Skaggs. The album hits stores and iTunes on October 30th, so be sure to pick up your copy of this amazing CD that brings back classic country sounds.