Doug Moreland: Doug Moreland (2006) MP3/Flac

Long-running Texan singer/songwriter and fiddler Doug Moreland has a taste for hot Western swing, as on the flashy opening track, "A Boy Like Me," which features some impressive fiddle and pedal steel solos. However, most of his self-titled album is in a more traditionally Nashville-oriented frame of mind, filled with weepy ballads like "Dallas" (not the Jimmie Dale Gilmore standard, alas) and easygoing honky tonk shuffles like "Honeymoonlight" and "Not Afraid to Fall." Points should be deducted for the brief novelty "The Beer Song," however: it's a cute tune, and it undoubtedly goes down a treat live, but it's also a bald-faced ripoff of Hank Snow's "I've Been Everywhere," and Moreland's too talented to resort to that sort of thing. Overall, Doug Moreland is a curiously static record, slightly enervated-sounding in a way that Moreland's previous records were not.