Black Music Matters Festival

Dave Foley

Holey Moley It's Dave Foley – 1999 (Self-released)

Reviewed by Jon Johnson

CDs by Dave Foley

While Dave Foley's debut album isn't an out-of-the-box stunner that will have honky-tonk traditionalists worldwide at his beck and call, it's safe to say that it'll open doors for Foley among that audience nonetheless.

And deservedly so. Foley has a decent tenor that occasionally evokes a young George Jones (whose mid-'50's hits "Why Baby Why" and "You Gotta Be My Baby" are covered here) and solid backing from a mixture of local musicians and longtime members of Jones' road band. On original like the western swing of "Change Your Mind" and the patented Ray Price shuffle of "Watching You Walk By" Foley proves himself to be an apt student of the popular styles of the '40's and '50's.

If there's a single problem, it's a reliance on tried-and-true covers far too heavily with 7 of 11 songs falling into that category. The cover of the Louvin Brothers' "My Baby's Gone" suffers from a bouncy tempo that's completely inappropriate for the almost suffocating loneliness of the song's lyrics. Still, Foley shows promise.