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Gord Bamford

Country Junkie – 2013 (Cache/Sony)

Reviewed by Dustin Blumhagen

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CDs by Gord Bamford

Gord Bamford is capitalizing on the attention brought on by the success of "Is It Friday Yet?", released only a year ago. The Canadian's latest, "Country Junkie," picks up right where he left off, packed to the brim with classic country songs catchy enough for commercial radio, like his country colleague Justin Moore.

The album kicks off with the twang anthem, Where A Farm Used to Be, which reflects on the encroachment of the city on rural areas. Lead single When Your Lips Are So Close is a radio friendly mid tempo love song, which can easily be mistaken for a Toby Keith hit. Bamford brings the humor with The Truth (about the buddy that every guy has who tends to exaggerate every story), One Makes Me Want Another (about wanting everything in excess, from women to alcohol) and Saturday's Beer (about drinking beer).

There are plenty of funny songs and party songs, but Bamford excels when he uses his voice to channel emotion into love ballads. Unreal and Nights Like You are wedding song material, slow paced and full of happiness. He can sing a fun breezy song like Blue Jeans, about how sexy a woman can be in blue jeans and a baseball cap or bring some hip hop influences to Groovin' With You (Bamford has recorded two songs with Colt Ford in the past, so the experimentation is well thought out). Joe Diffie makes an appearance on the title track, a song with a title that seems more appropriate for a Hank 3 album, but a solid honky tonk track in spite of it. The 14 tracks provide a variety of song styles, while staying firmly rooted in the country genre.

Throughout his discography, Bamford has always made sure to let listeners know who he is as a person. There are always songs about his family included. This time around Daughterville laments the struggles of a father with multiple daughters (lack of bathroom access, expensive shopping trips) and manages not to cross the line into cheesiness.

The stand out track on the album though is I Won't Regret That. The Dobro licks catch the listeners ear and bring them in to a quality country song about country values. He sings about his daughters and son and showcases his love for his wife. He comes across as the ideal version of a father, someone with enough confidence and swagger to get by in the fast paced modern world, but enough Mayberry attitude to keep old-fashioned values worked in too.

On his sixth release, Bamford showcases his down home style of country music. Longtime fans of Toby Keith should find a lot to like here. There is a reason that Gord Bamford is one of the biggest country artists in Canada.