Some high-powered talent help journeyman Lucky Tomblin creates an atmospheric, eclectic set that brings together elements of western swing, Tex-Mex, and blues with just a hint of '60s rock'n'roll. Tomblin's 11-song debut benefits from some topnotch honky-tonk piano from Earle Poole Ball ("Out of Your Mind"), Cindy Cashdollar's swinging, fluid steel work ("Ain't No Piece of Cake") and Redd Volkaert's tart and twangy electric guitar "Never Slept a Wink"). An equally potent contribution is made by former Sir Douglas Quintet co-founder Augie Myers, whose accordion work adds ethnic flavor to an evocative sympathy for undocumented workers anthem ("Illegal Man.")
Yet it is Tomblin's understated vocal reminiscent of Lefty Frizzell ("Never Slept a Wink," "Dancehall Sweetheart"), that threads together such disparate styles as harmonica-laden drinking blues ("Dead Water"), philosophic Dylan styled rock ("Sense of Wonder") and pining '50s honky-tonk ("Please Don't Tease Me"). Although an occasional song is hampered by enigmatic lyrics ("Soul In Time"), Tomblin elicits wisdom and road weary joy ("Rain Man") at nearly every rhythmic juncture. Moreover, many of the songs on this recommended disc provide a smart excuse for cheek-to-cheek dancing, Texas roadhouse style.