14 Songs, 43 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Jack Ingram plays catchy twang pop and country rock without sounding like a ‘70s throwback or an alt-country hopeful. His honky-tonk approximations make Livin’ or Dyin’ sound wonderfully rootsy, and the songs play with a timelessness that you just don’t hear in the albums of most late ‘90s new traditional hat acts. “Nothin’ Wrong With That” opens playfully using simple chords and a sing-along melody as Ingram’s textured voice muses on a bumpkin-themed romance. Things get a little more rockabilly on “Big Time” — a bouncy ditty that boasts some impressive lap steel licks by Tommy Hannum. Ingram also takes on some tasteful covers: Guy Clark’s “Rita Ballou” retains Texan tones while managing to sound like an Ingram original, and Jimmy Dale Gilmore’s “Dallas” gets a bit of the western swing treatment. But his originals are the gems — the moving “She Does Her Best” hints at the narrative crafting balladeer Ingram would become on later recordings.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Jack Ingram plays catchy twang pop and country rock without sounding like a ‘70s throwback or an alt-country hopeful. His honky-tonk approximations make Livin’ or Dyin’ sound wonderfully rootsy, and the songs play with a timelessness that you just don’t hear in the albums of most late ‘90s new traditional hat acts. “Nothin’ Wrong With That” opens playfully using simple chords and a sing-along melody as Ingram’s textured voice muses on a bumpkin-themed romance. Things get a little more rockabilly on “Big Time” — a bouncy ditty that boasts some impressive lap steel licks by Tommy Hannum. Ingram also takes on some tasteful covers: Guy Clark’s “Rita Ballou” retains Texan tones while managing to sound like an Ingram original, and Jimmy Dale Gilmore’s “Dallas” gets a bit of the western swing treatment. But his originals are the gems — the moving “She Does Her Best” hints at the narrative crafting balladeer Ingram would become on later recordings.

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