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ALBUM REVIEW

Cody Rowe
TEXAS
STATE OF MIND
©2011 Anonsen Productions
MTM262501
Review by Lucky Boyd

Co-Founder, MyTexasMusic.com

$13.99

Some people believe success in the music industry is a state of mind.  If so, Cody Rowe is well on his way, not only with his passionate performance style, but in his album title as well.  TEXAS STATE OF MIND certainly has the heart of a great Texas release.  Those of us who have seen performers come and go have a different way of looking at things.  We tend to believe that success in this industry is more about formula.  I’ve written many times about the 100 things that need to fall into place at exactly the same time to create a superstar.  With respect to the 50 things on that list that have to do with recorded product, Cody Rowe has scored in the high forties, a feat matched by only a handful of artists in the past ten years.  Grammy-winner Randy Miller produced this project, which gave Rowe the best opportunity to have his true talent captured.  Next, Rowe collected an outstanding list of tunes, writing and co-writing with a stellar crew, including fellow MTM member and Texas Music Awards nominee Tim Nichols.  With respect to the other 50 points that need to be covered, Rowe has the talent, the voice, the look, and time will tell when it comes to tour support and all the rest, but my money is on Rowe to rise to the high nineties all around.  This album is Rowe’s perfect companion as he makes his mark on the Texas music scene.  If Cody Rowe can assemble a tour band that can do justice to the recorded material on this project, you will be looking at the next big thing in Texas music.  It has been nine years since I wrote, “listening to this artist reminds you of why you listen to music in the first place.”  That statement was written about a young Hayes Carll, whose 100 things finally fell into place in 2010.  With Rowe’s talent and his entourage, it shouldn’t take him very long to collect.  Cody has assembled three different sounds on this disc.  First, he has delivered flawlessly on the Texas red-dirt sound, blending country and rock styles to give listeners track after track of exactly what today’s music demands.  Next, he has proven he can play on the big stage of country music with “Heads You Win,” which is the album’s most commercially viable country tune.  Then Rowe hits you with “One Less Cowboy,” which shows you he can take someone else’s song and make it his own in a singer/songwriter sort of way.  Rowe truly shines on “Caveman,” a Troy McConnell cover that is a Bruce Springsteen-meets-Darius Rucker good-feeling track.  Often, you can hear an artist’s evidence of ‘paying his dues’ in the songs he writes.  In Rowe’s case, it’s easy to hear the ‘living out of the trunk’ influences in his voice as he delivers passion and excitement on every track.  Singing is not about opening one’s mouth and pushing air across the vocal chords while mouthing lyrics on pitch.  Instead, it’s about making you believe every phrase, every note, every inflection, and every sigh.  Rowe, measured against that standard is a singer, and a very, very good one at that.  If you play the numbers, Rowe is in the nineties and rising.  I wonder if he will still take my calls when he gets famous.  <Sigh.>

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