Once in awhile, a compilation CD finds its way into my mailbox that includes an artist worth discovering and definitely worth sharing. Isn’t that what such compilations are designed for? In this case, the CD was attached to Texas Music magazine (the TexMix2013 winter disc). The artist is found on track 12 (“Mockingbird”) and his name is Robert Cline Jr.
Even better news — he has an entire album (All The Right Reasons) waiting to be discovered by lovers of traditional country music. Notes overflowing with steel guitars, harmonicas and accordions, and lyrics sounding as if they had been written while riding through the West Texas horizon or up along the Guadalupe River. Or at least up I-35 on a hot, dry evening. Make no mistake about it — this is country music, Texas style. And it “auda do” until I get back to the Lone Star State again.
Robert Cline has surrounded himself with fine musicians, who often play seamlessly as if they were one. In terms of superfluous musical embellishments, it’s a spare album; there’s nothing here that not essential. The songs have a bold, gritty quality that fits well with the emotional truths they convey.
There’s really nothing better than listening to a great song, knowing from its powerful delivery that the song’s writer could only have been the singer. Authenticity in story-telling — it’s obvious that Robert Cline Jr. makes music for all the right reasons.
Essential Downloads:“Mockingbird,” “1910,” “Prayin’ For An Angel,” “Love & Loss.”
To preview or purchase this album on iTunes, click here.