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Music Review - 'Then and One More Day' by Wesley Dennis (dm)

Wesley DennisThen and One More Day (Click to watch the video)

12 June 2021

 

BlackWesley Dennis demonstrates a joyful capacity for traditional country music on his new record, Then and One More Day. Offering a delightful exit out of the gimmickry and imbecility that dominates contemporary country radio, Dennis is a straightforward and effectual songwriter, whose band is welcome at any honky tonk or country dance in the Heartland.

Dennis’ vocal makes for a fine docent through songs of familiar subject matter: falling in love, heartbreak, and pains to the blue collar worker.

Original material comprises most of Then and One More Day, and Dennis demonstrates a clever acuity for country music humor, as evident on “All My Friends are Behind Bars.” His friends, of course, are Jim, Jack, Forester, and other species of whiskey. The record-closing, “Little Things,” joins the country music tradition of world-weary wisdom balladeering. Dennis croons his way through instructions on how to maintain strength and affection in a marriage through small acts of kindness and care.

Upbeat numbers, such as “Where Are All the Girls I Used to Cheat With?” and “Hey Pretty Baby,” are lusty and fit for a party.

The slick production technique, along repetitive arrangements, creates a flattening effect in the middle of the record. Better use of dynamics or tempo variety would have prevented otherwise avoidable redundancy. Dennis’ cover of John Berry’s mid-1990s hit, “If I Had Any Pride Left at All,” was similarly ill advised, given that country music fans will recognize it as Berry’s operatic showstopper – one that earned him a long standing ovation at the Country Music Awards. Dennis’ vocal is sufficient, but cannot compete with the original.

Despite these flaws, “Then and One More Day” is a fine record – one that simultaneously serves and enhances the proud musical tradition of genuine country music.

 
 
 
 

  

 David Masciotra

 

 

David Masciotra (www.davidmasciotra.com) is the author of four books, including Barack Obama: Invisible Man (Eyewear Publishing, 2017) and Mellencamp: American Troubadour (University Press of Kentucky, 2015).

To read all of David's reviews, click here 

  

 

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