Title - 'You Ain't Never Been To Texas'
Artist - Johnny Lee
For those not in the know, John Lee Ham is an American country music singer known professionally as Johnny Lee. His 1980 single 'Lookin' for Love' became a crossover hit, spending three weeks at number 1 on the Billboard country singles chart while also appearing in the Top 5 on the Billboard Pop chart and Top 10 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart. He subsequently went on to rack up a series of country hits in the early and mid-1980s and hasn't stopped since then either.
1. 'Lonesome Love List'
2. 'What's Forever For'
3. 'Who's Left, Who's Right'
4. 'Deep Water'
5. 'Never Been To Texas'
6. 'Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me'
7. 'Good Lovin' Woman Bad'
8. 'Wish I Could Love That Way Again'
9. '2 Steps From the Blues'
10. 'Who Did You Love'
11. 'Bullets First'
12. 'Worth Watching'
So, what can you expect from this brand new album, You Ain't Never Been To Texas. Well, the country music great and Texas Hall of Famer brings us his first studio album in 10 years (since 2006's Country Candy Store) and it's a doozy, trust me. An exciting blend of guitars, fiddles, slight drums and stunning vocals, the country music legend known as "The Urban Cowboy" - due to his work on the soundtrack for the 1980 hit movie of the same name - has come back after a decade out in fine style.
Johnny has a voice like a real country singer: deep, clear, and full. He is much better than most of these so-called Country singers today. Ergo, You Ain't Ever Been To Texas is an album that comes out the blocks ready to influence your day - and does just that. Indeed, further more, this album is a delightful work of musical art, my friends.
The opening song is an upbeat affair that tells the story of a man's passion for his woman; or at least, a woman he wants to be his woman ("I would do anything to be your everything"), 'Lonesome Love List.' That's backed by the mid-tempo ballad, 'What's Forever For,' which in turn is followed by one of the best songs on the album, in my humble opinion, 'Who's Left, Who's Right.' Next up is the rope-a-dope fun tale of falling in love, 'Deep Water,' and that's backed by the title track ('If you don't believe in God, you've never been to Texas").
Next up is a quite brilliant version of a song written by Jim Weatherly, and which enjoyed two runs of popularity; each by an artist in a different genre, 'Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me.' Gladys Knight & the Pips' pop/R&B version was the bigger of the hits, but this version is modeled more on Ray Price's rendition that came out in 1973. Then we get back up on our feet with the honky tonk country blues of 'Good Lovin' Woman Bad,' which is backed by both the ballad 'Wish I Could Love That Way Again', and then '2 Steps From the Blues.'
The stirring track 'Who Did You Love' is yet another highlight of this great album. The Country-defined flashback song is one lyrical juggernaut and should be a chart topping song if ever I heard one. Talking from the perspective of meeting God at the Pearly Gates ("Who did you love? Who did you give more to than you took from? Who did you hold, there in your heart, when their world was so dark and cold?"), it is a right of passage whilst we're still alive wake up call that everyone needs to listen to; and actually hear. Next up is the Country-fried 'Bullets First,' ("If you're coming for my guns, come and get 'em son, I'll give 'em to you bullets first"), and then the album comes to a close with the beautiful ballad, 'Worth Watching.'
In closing, well, I just cannot get enough of this album, and that's rare for me to say and feel, given it came out of nowhere, was not solicited, and yet has jumped to the top of my must-have-in-my-convertible-whilst-driving-in-the-hot-sun playlist! I highly recommend that you either (legally) download this album or buy the actual CD ASAP, and do the very same in your car as it will make every moment you spend in your vehicle a blissful, joyous musical wonderland, trust me.