This Ole Boy
Backroads romance, heartland scenery, and traditional values abound on Craig Morgan’s This Ole Boy. Such topics are typical country music fare, but Morgan sings with an authenticity few of his peers can match. Here he stays true to form, keeping the lyrics sincere while surrounding himself with a Dixie-fried blend of electric guitars, banjo, and pedal steel. Morgan avoids faux-rebel poses in favor of something more appealing—he remains the country gentlemen even when he’s teasingly sexy (as in “Show Me Your Tattoo” and the title track). He relishes the telling details of small-town life, as in the upbeat twanger “More Trucks Than Cars” and the acoustic-centered “Country Boys Like Me.” “Corn Star”—a tribute to a hot 4H Club queen set to a stomping beat—takes matters to playful extremes. Morgan does well with sultry ballads like “Love Loves a Long Night,” but he seems especially comfortable with odes to old-fashioned family suppers (“The Whole World Needs a Kitchen”) and tales of tragic loss (“I Didn’t Drink”).