Few new major-label artists of recent years have shown as much passion for country's roots as Bentley. On his second CD for Capitol, hard core honky-tonk and bluegrass sit comfortably next to cool modern songs of passion and exploration. Features the single 'Lot Of Leavin' Left To Do'. Capitol. 2005
A decade ago, country acts who sounded more like arena rockers gained hegemony on a Music Row that scorned the success of the O Brother, Where Art Thou?
soundtrack as a fluke. As in the past, many there couldn't see the forest for the trees. Both Bentley's own rootsy self-titled debut
and Gretchen Wilson's Here for the Party
prove quality modern traditionalism still sells. Bentley's sophomore album offers more straight-ahead amalgams of bluegrass, '60s Bakersfield, and raw barroom fare like the Waylonesque "Got a Lot of Leavin' Left to Do" and the beer-guzzling anthem "Domestic, Light, and Cold." He shows real depth on the sensual "Come a Little Closer." The moving, timeless "Gonna Get There Someday," a tale of a son at his mother's grave vowing to make something of himself, easily trumps the album's cliché-ridden title song, as does his fetching treatment of friend Del McCoury
's "Good Man Like Me," recorded with McCoury's band. Bentley's lack of artifice proves his greatest strength. Again. --Rich Kienzle