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Riley Green

Different 'Round Here – 2019 (Big Machine)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Riley Green

Listening to the way Riley Green strings together a collection of heartfelt country songs may make you wish more artists did it this way. In fact, I'm sure Hank done it this way. If you think lyrics like the ones to "Numbers On The Cars," are exceptions, "Different 'Round Here" is mostly more of the same good thing.

With the song "Different 'Round Here," Green sings a Southern pride song, but it's one that goes much deeper than a regional affection for sweet tea. Yes, Green doesn't sing significantly different subject matter than his fellow country artists; he's just more soulful and heartfelt than most. His truck song, "In a Truck Right Now" is not so much about the truck itself, but focuses on the memorable events that take place in said truck. With his drinking song, "Get That Man a Beer," beer is the tool for the working man's toast, rather than a means to an end.

Yes, Green covers familiar territory, but he also sings these 14 songs in a rich, Southern drawl, over twangy electric guitar. Just like the unassuming man wearing a ball cap and worn denim shirt on the album cover, what you see is what you get with Green. Like Dierks Bentley, Jon Pardi and George Strait, Green proves you don't need to kowtow to mainstream musical expectations (big drums, rock guitar and pop production) to create commercially successful country music. One can only hope and pray mainstream country radio listeners demand more music like Green's, because extremely enjoyable music sets like this wouldn't shouldn't be the exception.