Drew Fish Band

Wishful Drinkin' – 2020 (Reel Records)

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

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CDs by Drew Fish Band

The third release from Texas-based singer/songwriter Drew Fish is a throwback to '90s mainstream country and the Outlaw movement with mostly good results. Many of the tracks suffer from overproduction with Fish's pleasingly raspy vocals being buried in the muddled mix under harmonies, while some tunes are a bit cliched as in the title track and the opening "Lone Star Saturday Night."

Fish is most effective on ballads such as "Another You," in which the singer reflects on a failed relationship ("Too late to learn from my mistakes/But even if I did you'd still be gone"). On "Every Damn Time," Fish is joined by Pam Tillis in a nice duet featuring the pair trading verses on resisting temptation ("Just when I thought I might go/The thought of you brings me back home") that spotlights sweet harmonies from the duo.

The uptempo "High Rollin' Home" is Fish's salute to Willie Nelson ("If they ain't got a jukebox/Spinning all the Outlaws/I stay away from joints like that"). The most powerful track is the closing "Waiting for the Sun" about resilience in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in 2017 ("Waited for the worst hoping someone would arrive/Clung there on that rooftop praying for our lives") with nice steel guitar work from Geoff Queen.

Though the production of Adam Odor (Dixie Chicks, Pat Green, Randy Rogers Band) is at times excessive, the musicianship is stellar throughout with notable contributors such as Cody Braun (fiddle, mandolin), Paul Eason and Marty Mueller (guitars) and the singer's father Andy Fish (piano, organ). Despite the occasional production misstep, "Wishful' Drinkin'" further establishes Drew Fish to be a promising singer/songwriter.