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Travis Denning

Beer's Better Cold – 2020 (Mercury Nashville)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by Travis Denning

Travis Denning is in love with beer. The Georgia native makes that abundantly clear on his six-song EP debut. Two have beer in the title, and the single hit "After a Few" incorporates downing a few more.

The opener, "Where That Beer's Been," may demonstrate the writing prowess of Denning to show that he just may be capable of writing a song about anything. Not many chuggers are going to delve into the finer points of beer transportation. But hey, a good lyric is a good lyric: "I don't know where that beer came from, but I know where it's going." This is the type of song done live where the bros will be hoisting their can and gleefully singing along.

Denning, who's had success as a songwriter (Jason Aldean, Michael Ray's "Her World or Mine"), goes lyrically cute on the humorous kiss-off song "ABBY ("anybody but you"). Denning calls it quits for his imaginary dream girl.

Denning goes generic on "Tank of Gas And a Radio Song" (this also references beer in the first line: "Swear one Bud, last sip, and I buzz back") with its thwack drumbeat and even-kelled vocals sucking the soul out of the song.

He does a 180 on the closing song of the 18-minute set, "Sittin' By a Fire." (Well not totally - "Bring your own beer, everybody's here, yeah we got a big one started") Denning digs a lot deeper vocally and emotionally with a more introspective relationship song.

If expecting to hear Denning's debut single, "David Ashley Parker From Powder Springs," it isn't here.

You could change one letter in "beer" and wonder "where's the beef" to quote a famous, old Wendy's ad. Maybe not beef, but Denning sure knows his way around writing songs that stick. Next round, please.