Clint Daniels is a Merle Haggard fan and finds inspiration in his work, admitting that Big City is his favorite album. Now, for a kid trying to make an impression on Music City, that could be a problem. But if Arista lets him follow his heart, Daniels might have more than a snowball's chance in hell of building himself a career. And the fact remains that as he was releasing his debut project, there was a growing interest in the more traditional forms of country & western music. With a good voice reminiscent of a young Haggard and some phrasing that sounds surprisingly old-timey, Daniels comes out of the gate full force. While he had a hand at writing many of the songs, he also chose a few that he didn't write but which show off his talent. The leadoff cut is one of his with co-writer Tony Martin, "A Fool's Progress," and it sets up the rest of the project. Hardcore with what could be honed into a nice edge, Daniels also shines on "Wish It Was Easy," "Another Me for You," and a cut that should even get radio's attention, "When I Grow Up." Just as good is "Swing Through Dallas" and the moody "Long Way Down." The Dean Dillon-Larry Bastian tune "If I Stay" is a nice ending to what turns out to be a very impressive introduction to an extremely promising artist.
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