Stoney LaRue took six years off between studio albums, but you don’t have to be a fan to assume it was worth it after listening to 2011’s Velvet. Produced by Frank Liddell (Miranda Lambert and Chris Knight) and Mike McCarthy (Patty Griffin), Velvet is also backed by some of Nashville’s A-list studio guns including Randy Scruggs on guitar and Chad Cromwell on drums. “Dresses” opens with a foreboding tone as minor chords descend underneath a haunting pedal steel while LaRue sings with a fearful trill in his voice. Standout song “Look At Me Fly” plays like a twangy version of the Traveling Wilburys. The softer “Travelin’ Kind” works in the kind of road-weary narrative normally associated with Merle Haggard songs. Fans of LaRue’s Oklahoma-tinged “Red Dirt” sound need look no further than the hard rootsy rocker “Wiregrass” or the rich harmonica tones of “Sharecropper.” He explores new ground on “Sirens” with heavily distorted vocals buzzing around the verses and phrasing that sounds tastefully rooted in vintage hip-hop. The title-track is an epic, acoustic-based make-out ballad.