ALBUM REVIEW: Ranch Cat by Brad Dunn & Ellis County

The most successful country music vocalists seem to have an easy-going manner and a confident vocal delivery, and newcomer Brad Dunn & Ellis County definitely fit the bill on their new Texas country album "Ranch Cat."
The 53-minute, 14-song album begins with the upbeat "3 Days in Mexico" that could easily find a home on both Texas and mainstream country radio. "Piece Of Me" has much of the same charm and offers a superb melody. "Gone" is a more heartfelt love song that should please female fans.

The fourth track and current single "Red, White And Blue" is a hard-edged Texas country cut which radio stations should slurp up faster than peach tea at a church picnic. However, the comfortable traditional country style of "This Time" is even more pleasing as Dunn delivers a subtle but effective vocal performance.

The honky tonk song "Barstool" fires on all cylinders and should prove to be a concert favorite, but it is the Americana/blues track "Feed The Chickens" which is the album's biggest surprise. Brad Dunn & Ellis Country have some soul, and it is on full display while they "Feed The Chickens." The final cut "Southern Wind" is probably the best song on the entire album, because the song fuses all of the best elements of the group - confident vocals, strong instrumentation, memorable melody and thought-provoking lyrics.

"Ranch Cat" is a triumph of the highest order, and fans of traditional and Texas country will want to run - not walk - to see Brad Dunn & Ellis County in concert. These country boys know how to make sweet country music, and here's hoping another 14 songs make their way out of the ranch real soon.

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