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CD Review: Tracy Lawrence - GOOD OLE DAYS

Tracy Lawrence - GOOD OLE DAYS

Tracy Lawrence is a one-man hit record machine with a bunch of Number One songs, twenty-two songs on the Billboard Top Ten charts. A Grammy nomination and enough CMA and ACM Awards to make his mantle sag under the weight.

But he’s not resting on those laurels. With his new album, GOOD OLE DAYS, produced by Julian King, Tracy is joined by some of the biggest names in contemporary Country, lending their voices to duet with him and bring a fresh take on familiar songs.

Tracy and I arrived in Nashville round about the same time, Tracy coming from Foreman, Arkansas while I hailed from Brownsville, Kentucky.  Our paths crossed while we both setting out on our careers in Music City. I was interning at Atlantic Records and even then, I could see ‘star quality’ in Tracy and a determination to succeed. We have remained friends ever since.

Luke Bryan joins Tracy for ‘Sticks and Stones,’ his first Number One, back in 1991, shortly after he signed that first record deal with Atlantic.  (On a side note, Tracy almost didn’t live to see his first chart topper.  Shortly before the song’s release, he and a friend were attacked by three armed robbers. While protecting his friend, Tracy was shot four times, necessitating emergency surgery. One missing his artery by a HAIR and one bullet remains lodged in his hip.)

Justin Moore duets with Tracy on one of my all-time favorites, ‘Alibis,’ penned by the great Randy Boudreaux. The 1993 single was Tracy’s second Number One on the Billboard Hot Country Singles and Tracks. NOTE: Tracy had actually heard “Alibis” way back before he had gotten shot. Prior to becoming an award-winning songwriter, Randy Boudreaux used to ‘plug’ songs to artists with his “Bou-mobile.” Many a hit song that car held. Tracy promised
Randy he was gonna cut that song and he did! It was also the title of his sophomore album for Atlantic.

Tim McGraw’s voice blends perfectly with Tracy’s on this album’s lead-off track, “Time Marches On,” written by the iconic Bobby Braddock. It was both a Number One single and the title of Tracy’s fourth studio album in 1993.  The trot-along rhythm emphasizes the passage of time in the lives of members of a country family. I can remember being at one of Tracy’s early concerts and seeing Tim open up for him.

The title track, “Good Ole Days,” is one of two new and original tracks on the album.  With a definite ‘2017’ feel, the song reminds us that, right now, these are the good old days that we’ll look back on when we grow old. “When we’re young we want to be older / when we’re old we want to be cool.”  This cut isn’t just a duet: Tracy rocks along with Brad Arnold AND Big & Rich!  It’s a barnstormer!

The album closes with the second new song, titled “Finally Home,” featuring Craig Morgan. A poignant song about the thoughts of a returning serviceman, Morgan is the ideal duet partner for this song, having served nine and a half years in the 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions.

Other duet partners on the album include: Jason Aldean (on “Can’t Break It To My Heart”), Luke Combs, (“If The World Had A Front Porch”), Dustin Lynch (“Texas Tornado”), Kellie Pickler (“Stars Over Texas”), Chris Young (“If The Good Die Young”) and Easton Corbin (“Paint Me A Birmingham”).

Here we are, thirty years or so since we first met, and we can look back on the Good Ole Days as if they were yesterday. Tracy still leads all Country artists with 19 career opening Top Ten Billboard Singles and holds the record for the ‘most played’ video on CMT. He remains one of Country’s most popular touring artists with 1.2 million Facebook followers, 75,000 Twitter followers and 2.8 million YouTube fans.

As Tracy said, “I still see myself as that kid that came to town and idolized Merle Haggard and George Strait.” He added, “If you’re a lawyer you put your suit on every day and you go to work. I go to work. I put my uniform on and I go do my job. I’ve been blessed.” 

We sure have, too, Tracy!!

GOOD OLE DAYS has a street date of November 10, 2017.

Full track listing for GOOD OLE DAYS:

“Time Marches On” Featuring Tim McGraw
Written by -Bobby Braddock
Originally released March 1996 on his Time Marches On album.
Peaked at #1 

“Sticks And Stones” Featuring Luke Bryan
Written by Elbert West , Roger Dillon
Originally released November 1991 on his Sticks and Stones album.
Peaked at #1 

“Alibis” Featuring Justin Moore
Written by - Randy Boudreaux
Originally released February 1993 on his Alibis album.
Peaked at #1 

“Can’t Break It To My Heart” Featuring Jason Aldean
Written by - Tracy Lawrence, Kirk Roth, Earl Clark, and Elbert West
 Originally released June 1993 on his Alibis album.
 Peaked at #1 

“Good Ole Days” Featuring Brad Arnold And Big & Rich
Written by - Chris Destefano, Josh Osborne, Shane McAnally

“If The World Had A Front Porch” Featuring Luke Combs
Written by - Tracy Lawrence, Paul Nelson, Kenny Beard
Originally released September 1995 on his I See It Now album.
Peaked at #2 

“Texas Tornado” Featuring Dustin Lynch
Written by - Bobby Braddock
Originally released April 1995 on his I See It Now album.
Peaked at #1 

“Stars Over Texas” Featuring Kellie Pickler
Written by - Tracy Lawrence, Larry Boone, Paul Nelson
Originally released July 1996 on his Time Marches On album.
Peaked at #2 

”If The Good Die Young” Featuring Chris Young
Written by -Craig Wiseman, Paul Nelson
Originally released January 1994 on his Alibis album.
Peaked at #1 

”Paint Me A Birmingham” Featuring Easton Corbin
Written by - Buck Moore, Gary Duffy
Originally released October 2003 on his Strong album.
Peaked at #4 

 "Finally Home” Featuring Craig Morgan
Written by - Rob Crosby

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Album review by Preshias Harris for Country Music News International

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