Dirt Road Driveway
Building on his status as a local favorite in his native Texas, Granger Smith makes a serious bid for mainstream country attention on Dirt Road Driveway. He brings considerable assets to the project, including an engaging All-American vocal style, superior songwriting chops, and a sound that blends radio-friendly melodies with touches of heartland rock, pop, and folk. Smith knows how to touch all the familiar country bases, with songs about backroad parties (“We Do It in a Field”), truck-driven romance (“Silverado Bench Seat”), and teenaged high times (“19 Forever”). He does a convincing job of celebrating family values in “If Money Didn’t Matter” and captures a touring musician’s lonely hours in “Stick Around.” Smith writes with breezy blue-collar lingo, but he also has a touch of the poet in his style, as the free-flowing imagery in “Bury Me in Blue Jeans” shows. Accordions, banjos, and mandolin add extra musical color to these mostly midtempo and uptempo tracks. Closing out the album are “Country Boy Love” and “The Country Boy Song”: a pair of stomping, slightly twisted tunes credited to Smith’s comedic alter ego Earl Dibbles Jr.