Charlie Major

Lucky Man

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Lucky Man, Charlie Major's second album, continues in much the same vein as his first, The Other Side. That is to say, it's the same heartland country-rock, essentially a slightly twangier version of John Hiatt or a harder-rocking Rodney Crowell. Major is a journeyman writer and singer, never rising above the pack, and Lucky Man demonstrates his talent for making consistently solid music. There are songs about the grind of everyday working life, including the Canadian hit "(I Do It) For the Money," written by Major in 1986 when he was working as a restaurant cook. There are also driving songs, including the opening track "Someday I'm Gonna Ride in a Cadillac," which finds the singer achieving his dream of a Cadillac, but only for the trip to heaven. And there are Major's love songs, which invariably manage to sound heartfelt in spite of the preponderance of clich├ęd phrases (one case in point: "I Can See Forever in Your Eyes" was a phrase Major used on the song "Walk Away" from The Other Side). The album closes with a fine cover of Donovan's "Remember the Alamo," as inspired a selection as you'll find on a country record. Major does the song as a stately ballad, with synthesized strings underpinning some bluesy slide guitar. The production, by Steve Fishell (the Mavericks, Pam Tillis, and Radney Foster), is always sympathetic, bringing out Major's strengths. A strong ensemble of some of Nashville's best players helps, too. Reprising the roles they played on The Other Side, guitarists Steuart Smith and Dan Dugmore are on hand to play tasteful guitar solos and fills, and drummer Harry Stinson does double duty on many tracks, adding harmony vocals. Lucky Man contains four number one Canadian singles and sold over 100,000 copies in Canada, garnering platinum certification.

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