George Ducas is young, handsome and popular, but don't think this native Texan is simply Nashville's next face of the moment. While he may be holding a "new breed" cowboy hat on the back cover of his second CD, the material inside should prove that Ducas has the talent to hang around for a while. Following up a debut that yielded the top-5 country hit "Lipstick Promises," WHERE I STAND is as good as anything mainstream Nashville is producing these days.
Opening with the Buddy Holly-ish pop of "Every Time She Passes By," WHERE I STAND moves on to cover a wide range of styles, from mid-tempo rock ballads to honky-tonk weepers. The songs are mostly Ducas' own, and his writing, while relying on the occasional cliche, is solid. It gets the job done without trying to be too smart or too dumb. Producer Richard Bennett (Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris) keeps the sound simple and loose, providing just the right amount of texture. Whether on retro-tinged songs like "Tricky Moon" or out-and-out country fare like Buddy Miller's "I'm Pretending," WHERE I STAND stands out as what a popular country record should be--intelligent, fun and eminently singable. Judging from it, where GEORGE DUCAS stands is at the beginning of a promising career.