A New Reason to Care

Scott Joss

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A New Reason to Care Review

by Erik Hage

Scott Joss may be primarily known as a sideman for such artists as Merle Haggard and Dwight Yoakam, but when he's not backing the greats, he's releasing solo albums full of strong traditional country. He also proves that he was paying attention all those years. On "Even if You Have to Lie," for example, he does a stirring turn on the kind of emotional balladry for which Haggard is known. And like his old boss, Joss is able to get downright sweet and sorrowful without stumbling into overly saccharine territory. "You're the Reason," meanwhile, rolls and stops with rockabilly flair while the title track enters pensive acoustic territory with a rumination on road life. A New Reason to Care proves that Scott Joss is a genuinely great country singer, with pipes that fall smack dab between Haggard's bruised baritone and Jimmie Dale Gilmore's goofy, rangy charm. It's clear that this noted sideman is deserving of his own spotlight. There's fine production work here by Pete Anderson.

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