I was talking to a friend of mine the other day whom I’ve known since high school. Like me, she’s a huge music fan and, as usual, the conversation gravitated to the latest songs and bands on the radio. When the conversation reached a lull, she looked over at me and said, “you know what Lauren? I miss country music.”
I was taken aback by her statement. Like me, she’ never been the country type. Her taste runs in the alternative rock direction while I’m definitely trapped in the body of a white girl!
“Country music is everywhere,” I replied with a note of ridicule in my voice.
“A lot of country today sounds like warmed-over Southern Rock,” she responded. “I miss old school country, the honesty of it, the feeling that the singer knew exactly how you were feeling about life.”
She was right. While I was paying so much attention to hot bump and grind tunes that were about little more than sex (not that there’s anything wrong with that!), country music had become jaded, politicized and was no longer speaking to the average person dealing with the problems life throws at them. So I decided I’d review the first country artist who passed his or her music my way. If the songs were little more than throwbacks to Lynyrd Skynryd, I was prepared to trash the artist and tell him/her exactly why their music sucked. But as fate would have it, I was given music that reminded me so of what I used to hear from my grandparent’s old album collection.
My introduction to Will Ardell was joyous. It’s immediately apparent he’s a poet because something in his music rings so genuine. Possessing a powerful yet traditional country voice, Ardell’s style is reminiscent of the Nashville of days past – when country wasn’t cool. One might find it odd he’s originally from Canada, not known as a hotbed of country music. But perhaps that works to his advantage, allowing him to tap into sounds we haven’t heard in a long time. If you’re a fan of country, the is breath of fresh country air.
All About The Ride is the name of his album. Check it out and sample the tracks. One standout song is Save Me, a tender love song about a man’s enduring love for his woman. The love he sings of is the kind we all dream of – it’s his salvation.
Another track that hit me is Two Shadows, a traditional country gem that reminds me of the country I used to hear when I was a little girl.
His latest release is The Way You Did, a mid-tempo piece that totally exposes my music geekiness. This may not mean anything to my regular readers but this song reminds me of some of the Mac Davis compositions Elvis Presley recorded in the early to mid 70s, songs like Kentucky Rain and Don’t Cry Daddy.
Ardell is a former nominee for the Saskatchewan CMA Song, Male Vocalist, Album and Video of the year. I can certainly attest he was deserving. Download The Way You Did below and hear for yourself.