Orville Davis is a journeyman country singer/songwriter and guitarist who, based in New York City, has spent many years frequenting the bar circuit in the Northeast, when he wasn't providing a voice for commercial jingles or touring as a backup musician. His second album, BarnBurner, follows its sole predecessor, Howl at the Moon, by nearly a decade, and its songs, annotator Ben Krieger confirms, have been honed in performance over many years. That may help explain why they are a group of sturdy, dyed-in-the-wool traditional country songs about love and liquor and line dancin' queens, sung in Davis' resonant tenor and played with assurance by his backup band. "Como Se Dice" has a Tex-Mex flavor, and the title track boasts a Cajun arrangement, but for the most part this is straight-ahead country music, albeit country music as it might have been heard prior to the onset of the Nashville sound of the 1960s. Of course, the style never went out of favor in honky tonks around America, and it has occasionally broken to the surface even in Nashville. But this is a good example of the kind of record that Music City would consider "too country" for country radio, which is certainly ironic since it hails from a region generally considered hostile to country music.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann