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Backroads

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Album Review

When he's not trying to be Roy Orbison (as he did on 1990's RVS 3), it's easy to see that Van Shelton's a fine singer. And this is a fine record — so fine it's tempting to hunt for signs of listener manipulation. But Van Shelton balances the self-pity of songs like "After the Lights Go Out" with the uptempo punch of stuff like "Call Me Up." So even though Van Shelton recycles "Rockin' Years," the duet from Dolly Parton's Eagle When She Flies, just call it good taste, sit back, and enjoy.

Biography

Born: January 12, 1952 in Danville, VA

Genre: Country

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Ricky Van Shelton was one of country music's biggest male stars during the late '80s and early '90s, prior to the emergence of crossover sensations like Garth Brooks. Van Shelton's smooth baritone croon made him especially popular as a country-pop ballad stylist, but elsewhere he incorporated elements of rock, gospel, and classic honky tonk. Van Shelton was born in Danville, VA, in 1952 and grew up in the small town of Grit. He learned to sing at church and discovered country music as a teenager,...
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Backroads, Ricky Van Shelton
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