David Allan Coe

Original Outlaw

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Despite this album's title and David Allan Coe's reputation as the baddest of '70s country music's bad boys, the singer soft-pedals the bad-ass quotient here. Coe's infamous rough-and-tumble side is expressed most obviously on a pair of self-penned tunes, the rocking, self-explanatory "Fuzzy Was an Outlaw," and the holy-hooker narrative "Mary Magdeline," where Coe places the tale of Jesus in a modern setting a la Kris Kristofferson.

Kristofferson is recognized more explicitly by Coe's cover of the former's classic loser's spiritual "Why Me." Coe gets traditional with a respectful take on the chestnut "A Satisfied Mind," and things turn downright poignant on an arresting version of Johnny Cash's ballad "Give my Love to Rose." Coe's CCR-ish stomper "Mississippi Woman" is one of the most infectious, upbeat tunes on the album, but the ease with which Coe takes much of the material here speaks volumes about the oft-untouted width of his dynamic range.

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