Moot Davis kicks off Goin' in Hot with its title track, a loose-limbed country-rocker that recalls Dwight Yoakam at his Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc. peak -- both in how it sounds and feels and also how it tips its hat to the past without being beholden to it. Davis favors the dusty Bakersfield roads paved by Buck Owens but also will venture down a path that leads to Texas honky tonk and tejano and, most welcomingly, will also take a scenic route that brings him through the deep Southern soul of Memphis. He decorates the record with layers of thick guitars -- they pick out riffs and smear the surroundings with slide -- and while this twang is grabbing, the focus is always on the songs and how Davis delivers them. He's a relaxed singer, easing into the songs and letting them breathe, underselling his wry jokes ("Food Stamps" is funny without sneering) and finding soul within his heartbroken ballads. There's nothing flashy here, just good, strong country, the kind that never goes out of style.
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