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Back to the Simple Life

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Customer Reviews

Finding Gems on an Independent Label

During my first trip to West Virginia I had dinner in a small road side cafe. The sound coming out of the open air bar was anything but small. A sound straight out of a West Virginia hollow mixed with influences from everyone from Wallon Jennings to Alan Jackson with a healthy dose of Junior Brown and Ray Scott. The classic sound that I heard that warm summer night is captured beautifully on BACK TO THE SIMPLE LIFE, the second CD from Billy Payne. There are nods to the pioneers (WRITE IT LEFTY, play it Haggard, Sing it Jones.)But this is no "Classic Country." Payne brings an up tempo style and boundless energy to tracks like SOMEBODY'S GONNA GET HURT and SHE'S SO HOT. With TRIPLE ON THE DOUBLE I can still hear the crowd singing along with the chorus. Payne is solid throughout, using his voice as an instrument to take the listener from the highs of the opening track, BLUE SKYS MOUNTAIN AIR, AND PURE WATER to the plaintiveness of DR JESUS, to outstanding already mentioned WRITE IT LEFTY. Definitely a highly listenable addition to any Country music lover's library. (Now, if he'd just figure out a way to travel out West!)

Back to the Simple Life, Billy Payne
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