Earlier this week, as I was shouting from a virtual mountaintop about the impending release of Dierks Bentley's latest CD, Feel That Fire, Gretchen popped in, in her inimitable Gretchen way, to ask "Are you on his payroll yet?"
And the answer, Gretchen, is no, I'm not. I provide my endorsements purely as a public service. I know that most of my readers are the busy parents of high-maintenance children (and I say that with love), who don't always have time to scout out the latest and greatest that popular culture has to offer. So, just as I rely on Jordan and Drama Mama for cosmetic advice, on Kristen for the word on all things cashmere, on Betty and Boo's Mom for book recommendations, and on lots of other bloggers for lots of other things, I like to think I'm saving my readers from having to dredge through a lot of mediocre music by helping them cut right through to the good stuff.
Which brings me to this: Feel That Fire, released this week and already a hit with Bud and me. The title track and first single has been topping the charts on country radio for months, but I have to tell you (sorry, Dierks), it's not even close to being the strongest track on the album, which is packed with instant classics - from the sure-to-be-a-hit-single-'cause-it-makes-the-girls-swoon "I Wanna Make You Close Your Eyes," to the gorgeous and moving "Beautiful World," to the hard-rocking "Life on the Run," to the so-poignant-it's-physically-painful "Pray."
Not convinced yet? Preview it here and you'll see what I mean. You can thank me later.