Blake Shelton: Red River Blue
The New York Times and New Yorker discovered this Okie from Ada after he topped the Billboard charts with his eighth album in just ten years.
The path to mainstream exposure was no doubt aided by his marriage to Texan star Miranda Lambert, not to mention a permanent judging role on hit TV series The Voice.
Unlike his singing spouse, Shelton didn’t write his string of ten number one hits – instead, he draws from a vast pool of writing talent.
He namedrops Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn in latest hit Honey Bee, bemoans bad manners in Good Ole Boys and milks weather and bible metaphors in Sunny In Seattle and God Gave Me You.
Shelton also exploits other country staples – booze in Drink On It, angst in Over, regret in I’m Sorry and the title track finale and rural humour in Get Some and Hey.
Shelton is at the top of his game At 35 years of age – and yes, his vocal vibrance drives this radio friendly missile with the rivets popped and planed.
BY DAVID DAWSON
Best Track: Sunny In Seattle
If You Dig This, You’ll Dig This: Proud To Be Here TRACE ADKINS.
In A Word: Hedon-blisstic