Trent Willmon

A Little More Livin'

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All is not lost. You can still get a butane lighter for 99 cents and bait a hook while drinking Shiner. It's still cool to name your dog after a color, and completing a full work week is still a valid excuse to drown and smoke your mind on the weekend. So in spite of whatever may be wrong in your life -- it's all good. Or at least that's what Trent Willmon would have you believe in "Good One Comin' On," the first track on his incredibly good-natured release A Little More Livin'. It wouldn't be a gamble to say Willmon's sophomore album will surely help him rise to an even brighter stardom. It's the ideal album for listening to when everything just, well, sucks. It's lighthearted, often humorous, and clever. Whether Willmon's getting ready for a night of binge drinkin' or losing his wife to his best friend after a night of sadomasochistic endeavors in "Surprise" (only to get his buddy's wife and high-rise apartment in return) -- nothing's bad enough to make him give up. He's got all he needs -- his guitar, his truck, his cooler full of ice, and so on. His songs are ideal for blue-collar weekend warriors. Willmon is a contemporary country artist, and A Little More Livin' is proof of this -- the album has absolutely no rawness about it. It's produced to a tee. Which could be a good thing, depending on how you feel about that level of perfection. But while it might sound a little too over-produced to some country fans, Willmon's songwriting talents, as well as his musicianship, cannot go overlooked. The charm of A Little More Livin' isn't necessarily found in Willmon's voice, or the music (both of which are just fine, by the way), but rather in the album's attitude. It's non-pretentious and embraces life's simple pleasures: fishing, ropin' cattle, playing poker 'til dawn, and being broke as a joke but in love. The preeminent love song on the album is "So Am I," also certain to be one of the most popular singles. It's a sweet, sugary ballad, penned in part by Willmon himself (as were six of the album's 11 songs). With the fiddle in the forefront, Willmon sings, "But she loves the life we're livin'/Barefoot dancin' in the kitchen/While I'm pickin' with one string missin'/But she don't seem to mind." A Little More Livin' might not be a very diverse release, but with the screamin' electric blues solo on "Louisiana Rain," the humorous country-rock number "Surprise," and sentimental love ballads like "Island," it keeps the album from becoming too monotonous. Willmon is one of those success stories of a country boy who had a dream to make it in Nashville -- and actually did, all without having to show up with a lot of money or sell his soul.

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