Online since August 2002

Country singer back with solid 'Beautiful Day'

Reviewed February 2010

Beautiful Day
Beautiful Day
By Charlie Robison

Dualtone Music: 2009

To hear sound clips or learn more about this release, Turbula recommends viewing its Amazon.com entry.

It took nearly five years for country artist Charlie Robison to release a follow-up to his 2004 album "Good Times." A divorce from Dixie Chick Emily Erwin has added a new songwriting point of view for the originals on his latest disc, "Beautiful Day."

The album includes six Robison originals, and the covers include a couple of good tunes by country singer Keith Gattis. Production is razor-sharp – a perfectly mixed, rocking blend of Austin-sound layered guitars and rhythm instruments. Robison has a relatively unaffected, easy-on-the-ears voice. He sounds like he is from the country without sounding like he is deliberately trying to sound like a hayseed, and the material suits this approach. He is solidly in charge throughout.

The title tune places its story in Southern California, and has a catchy pop-country groove. Gattis' "Down Again" has more of an impact, with echoes of "Ring of Fire" and lyrical resonance as Robison laments his fate as an abandoned lover. "Nothin' Better to Do" rides strong guitar and mandolin melodies for a lively country-rock workout. Other memorable tunes include a well-sung traditional country ballad, "Reconsider," and Bruce Springsteen's "Racing in the Street," which finds Robison sounding eerily like the Boss on a good crossover cover choice.

Other original tunes ("She So Fine," "Yellow Blues") are clearly part of Robison's catharsis about his divorce. Charlie Robison may have taken awhile to get "Beautiful Day" recorded, but the music here didn't suffer from the wait. There are no clunkers on the disc, and Robison is in great voice, making for some enoyable music.

Review by Frank Kocher, a longtime San Diego resident, musician, music collector and frequent contributor to The San Diego Troubadour.

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