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Walt Wilkins

Plenty – 2012 (Redeye)

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

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CDs by Walt Wilkins

There are touches of country, folk and soul in Texas singer/songwriter Walt Wilkins' latest. The album kicks off with one of the stronger country tracks Just Be, a soothing ballad about kicking back and enjoying life ("Just listen to the song singing on the breeze/That's just the universe through the cottonwood leaves").

The up-tempo country rocker Ain't It Just Like Love examines the power of love to build up and destroy morale ("Ain't it just like love to lift to lift your world back up/After sending the whole thing crashing down"). Similarly the ballads Something Like Heaven ("If she could see me at my best/When I'm quiet, wise and kind/She'd know I'm not like all the rest/She could have my heart if she were mine") and Maybe Everybody Quit Cheatin' ("And if I should fall back into the arms of some neon angel/Next time I'm gonna hold on real tight") explore the elusiveness of love.

Other highlights are the folksy Between Midnight and Day, in which Wilkins reminisces about his years in Nashville ("I've been on the bus with Willie/And I hung out with Newberry/And I survived Music Row"), and the reflective Gray Hawk ("I wish I was young but I'm glad I'm not/Back when I wasted some good love I got").

Wilkin's soulful side is most evident on the humorous Like Strother Martin ("I'm gonna steal the scene like Strother Martin/Walk right up like I own this place/Say something cool, enigmatic/With all my gathered grit and grace") and Rain All Night ("It's been so long since we've had any/Come on down, amen and then/A few more nights and we'll have plenty/To live like kings again").

With Wilkins' strong vocals and brilliant compositions this is an impressive collection.