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Heart Shaped Like Texas

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Album Review

Sammy Sadler is a journeyman country singer who has been recording since the late 1980s, but who suffered a serious career interruption when he was shot on Music Row in Nashville in the company of journalist Kevin Hughes, who was murdered as the result of a chart-fixing scheme. Sadler wasn't implicated in the scandal, but his career was derailed for a while. He reminds listeners of the incident in the closing track of Heart Shaped Like Texas, "Thank God," the one song he co-wrote on the album, and while that might seem exploitative, it's also the only truly personal moment on the disc. Sadler has a warm, sturdy tenor voice, and he convincingly renders these 11 songs, which come from the pens of 22 writers. The material spans familiar country styles: "I Wanna Be Loved by You" is country pop; "Heart Shaped Like Texas" is honky tonk/Western swing; "Thinking About Mexico" is Tex-Mex, etc. There is also a strain of Christian religion that runs through the album, notably on "John 3:16." It's all perfectly adequate contemporary country music, but also unremarkable. Even when Sadler gets hold of a song by A-list songwriters Bill Anderson and Steve Wariner, "I'll Always Have Denver" (and ropes Wariner into singing harmony), it's not really top-drawer material, as the derivative title suggests. Sadler needs better songs and a more distinctive persona if he's ever going to be a country star.


Born: 23 August 1967 in Memphis, TN

Genre: Country

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Country singer Sammy Sadler was born August 23, 1967, in Memphis, TN, and raised in Bonham, TX. He signed to Evergreen Records and reached the country charts in January 1989 with a cover of Aaron Neville's "Tell It Like It Is." "You Made It Easy" also charted, but before his third chart entry, "Once in a Lifetime Thing" in January 1990, Sadler was wounded in a bizarre incident in Nashville when he and a friend, Cash Box magazine chart director Kevin Hughes, were approached by a masked man who shot...
Full Bio
Heart Shaped Like Texas, Sammy Sadler
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  • $18.99
  • Genres: Country, Music
  • Released: 29 September 2009

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