Steve Wariner – It Ain’t All Bad

by Chuck Dauphin
steve-wariner-it-aint-all-badTurnabout, as they say, is fair play. Steve Wariner grew up enamored with such guitarists as Jerry Reed and the man he has often cited as his mentor, Chet Atkins. Well, flash forward a few years, and today’s generation of singers – guitarists all claim such acts as Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs, and Steve Wariner as their influences.

Though Wariner was one of the biggest hitmakers on Country Radio in the 1980s and 1990s, he has devoted much of the past decade to working on a couple of well-receivied instrumental albums, touring from time to time, and songwriting. It’s hard to believe, but it’s been eight years since the singer has released a full vocal album.

Thankfully, the wait is over. And, with the release of this new disc, Wariner is at his most musically diverse ever. Recording on his own Selectone label gives him a chance to do some different things than he might have earlier. “Voodoo” is such an instance. No, it probably wouldn’t find a home on the airwaves, but the groove is so undeniable. From a tempo standpoint, it’s one of the coolest sounds he has ever put on a record. Then, there’s the Beatles-esque vibe of “What More Do You Want,” which begins to soar once the chorus starts. It sounds like something Sir Paul could have very well written himself.

Then, you have Wariner’s traditional side, best exemplified by the throwback sound of “Bluebonnet Memories,” the vivid imagery of “48 Ford,” and the simple story song of “Arrows At Airplanes.” He’s as good as if he’s ever been, and frankly, I don’t know if time and experience has made him even better as a vocalist and an artist.
And, that definitely applies to his songwriting. He closes the album with a masterpiece on par with “Holes In The Floor Of Heaven” or “Two Teardrops” titled “A Thousand Winds.” I guarantee if you’ve ever lost someone close to you, you will never think of a bright sunrise, a bluebird, or a fall storm the same way again. I am actually tearing up thinking about it. The man truly knows how to pull on the heartstrings, and he’s also as good at that as he’s ever been! Needless to say, Steve Wariner plays the legend very well thee days!

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