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Tracy Byrd

Different Things – 2006 (Blind Mule/New Revolution)

Reviewed by Michael Sudhalter

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CDs by Tracy Byrd

Tracy Byrd has returned to his traditional country roots with his independent label debut, mixing hardcore country, mid-tempo ballads and western swing on the 11-song disc.

First single "Cheapest Motel" lyrically is about as country as you can get - "the cheapest motel in town cost him everything." The title song has a similar dose of hurting with Byrd singing "what I want and what I need have always been different things." The album isn't all about cheating and a melancholy lyrics as Byrd lets his hair down for the playful tune about getting older "The More I Feel Like Rockin' and the hilarious "Saltwater Cowboy" about a 'poke who loves going down to the ocean. The Texan also saves a spot for a Western Swing tune with "The Biggest Thing in Texas," which would have fit right in on his self-titled debut album over a decade ago.

The most impressive cut, however, is the storytelling ballad "A Cowboy and A Dancer" about a cowboy who meets an exotic dancer and describes the duo's trek from San Antonio to the West Coast. How does the tale end? "If you don't mind, I'll keep the rest to myself," Byrd sings in the chorus. Expect a sequel for that one.