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Music Review - `That Kinda Guy` by Mike Dekle(jh)

Mike Dekle -  That Kinda Guy  (click on image to watch video)

04 April 2019 


After a thirteen-year hiatus country singer-songwriter Mike Dekle is back. This is the same Atlanta-born, Athens resident Dekle who authored mega country hits for Kenny Rogers (“Scarlet Fever,” ”Someone Must Feel Like a Fool Tonight”), Tracy Byrd (“Don’t Love Make a Diamond Shine”), Joe Nichols (“Size Matters”) and Gene Watson (“No Trash in My Trailer”).  Those are just the hit singles. Dekle has had these artists with memorable album tracks - Moe Bandy, Keith Whitley, Hank Thompson, Rhonda Vincent,  and countless others.

This generous helping of 18 songs on That Kinda Guy plies similar turf. Why argue with success? However, success doesn’t always mean that the songs are interesting. They are mostly formulaic Music City typical, rather predictable country tunes, with some exceptions. What makes them somewhat different from Dekle’s past work is his perspective as indicated by titles like “God Made a Farmer,” Music’s What I See,” “I’m Still Breathing Air,” “I See a Song” and “Old Guitar in Heaven.”  He has an eye toward mortality and expressing gratefulness about his career. In “Like I Don’t Have a Care” he shuts out the world and just turns to his guitar. That’s as good an indication of his perspective as any here.

Dekle is going on five decades now. In 1982, after years of dropping off tapes and talking to publishers In Nashville Mike decided to record one of his own songs. He'd developed a close friendship with the late Roger Bowling (writer of "Lucille", "Coward of the County", "Blanket On The Ground") a Hall of Fame songwriter. He introduced Dekle to Byron Hill, then a young writer/producer in Nashville. Hill produced "Scarlet Fever." Kenny Rogers recorded "Scarlet Fever" and released it in July 1983. This was Dekle’s first published song and it became a number one hit. Soon after Kenny Rogers' publishing company, Lionsmate Music, signed Dekle to an exclusive writer's contract. Their association lasted until Kenny sold his publishing company. Rogers recorded six of Dekle’s songs. Hits followed with the artists mentioned previously.

The strength of this album lies in the sad narrative “Best Secret In Town” and his contemporary statement on the veteran’s plight “PTSD.” His message in “High Achiever” rings through nicely – “if you’re living your life your own way, you’re a high achiever.”


Dekle says, "I consider myself a sensitive Southern storyteller who is extremely blessed to have been given a creative talent. Songwriting is in my blood. I'll write because I'll bust wide open if I don't." He’s constantly on that quest for the killer song as he sings here in  “I See a Song.” Dekle is a songwriter who has realized his dreams and could be resting on his laurels. Instead, he pushes on with an album that doesn’t cave to many of the country clichés of hell-raising, and rowdiness. Here Dekle offers mostly messages of hope and displays real affection for his wife Crystie who pushed him toward Nashville back in 1969.


To Read All of Jim's Reviews, Click Here




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