Disillusioned with his music career following four solid years of touring, there was a time when it seemed unlikely that a third album from New Jersey-based country singer/songwriter Moot Davis would ever see the light of day. His self-imposed hiatus means he may have lost some of the momentum built up from 2007's Already Moved On, but it's one that appears to have reignited his musical mojo, judging by the first release through his own Highway Kind Records label, Man About Town. Recorded in Nashville with producer Kenny Vaughan, its 13 tracks prove that Davis is still enamored with the old-fashioned honky tonk of Hank Williams, whether it's the opening cautionary tale of "Rags to Rhinestones," the shuffling train-track rhythms of "How Long," or the fiddle-driven hoedowns of "Everybody's Gal" and "Only You." But there are also several that showcase a slightly adventurous streak missing from his previous fare. "Black & White Picture" is an epic seven-minute murder ballad whose shimmering steel-laden riffs and Mexican-style acoustics provide the perfect backdrop for its story of a vengeful husband; "Queensbury Rules" sees his quivering Southern drawl take a rare but convincing venture into rockier Dwight Yoakam-esque territory; while "Crazy in Love with You" sees him team up with Grand Ole Opry regular Elizabeth Cook on a sweetly sung Johnny and June Carter Cash-inspired first collaboration. It's still a resolutely old-fashioned affair that sounds like it belongs to a bygone era, but it's difficult not to be charmed by Davis' obvious delight at returning to form.
AllMusic Review by Jon O'Brien