Johnny Wolfe

Bad Tonight

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Johnny Wolfe slings a mean Telecaster, has a golden voice, and writes songs that often sound like trad country classics. All of which is to say that Bad Tonight is a great achievement. "Say Ya Do" is pure old-time rock & roll, while "No Angels Down Below" bears the influence of the Bakersfield sound. Wolfe also occasionally mixes things up nicely with some pop inflections here and there, such as with the rolling organ and melodic touches on "Check Engine Light." Wolfe's singing particularly shines on the ballad "Tell Me True," which he hunkers down into like Ray Price or George Jones. The bluesy title track is a great showcase for Wolfe's guitar chops; however, it uncannily echoes Chris Isaak and therefore wouldn't be a good representative track for a new listener. With folks like Wolfe, Dallas Wayne, and Wolfe's good friend, Davin James, making albums like these, it seems there's strong hope for reverent, real, good-time country music.

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