May 07, 2007 12:03 AM by Joe Blackmon
Bucky Covington could have rushed out a new CD shortly after his
American Idol appearance to capitalize on his new found fame. Instead,
Bucky Covington took his time and was actually one of the later
finalists from his season of American Idol to put out a CD. The payoff
for Bucky’s patience is one of the best debut albums ever from an
American Idol contestant (including the winners).
In a lot of cases, a CD by a new artist typically has one or two songs of high enough quality to be released as a single. In the case of Bucky Covington’s debut CD, virtually every song on it has enough legs to make it as a single. It’s that good. In fact, this CD should earn Bucky a nomination for the CMA Horizon Award.
Some of the credit has to go to Mark Millar, who co-produced the CD with Dale Oliver. Mark Millar is also the lead singer of Sawyer Brown, and as seasoned veteran in the country music industry, he evidently knows how to put together a quality album. I don’t know if Mark, Dale, Bucky, or all three were responsible for picking the songs on the album, but whoever did should pat themselves on the back for a job well done.
The debut single “A Different World” is already being well-received by country radio. In very down-to-earth language, the song really paints a very vivid picture of just how much the world has changed in the last twenty or so years. “A Different World” doesn’t make any judgements on if the world is a better or worse place now, as the title says it’s just “different.” For anyone who grew up in the seventies or early eighties, the song is sure to tug at the heartstrings as it recalls a simpler yet satisfying way of life.
“A Different World” however is only the beginning of the hits on Bucky Covington’s debut album. If “A Different World” is a call-out to the seventies and the eighties, then “Back When We Were Gods” is an anthem for the early nineties. The thought of three high school friends taking one last road trip before one gets married, one goes to Desert Storm, and one heads off to college really hits home in describing that time period. Hopefully, “Back When We Were Gods” will be released as a single as well, because it’s just as strong as “A Different World.”
Several of the songs on Bucky Covington’s debut CD will also likely strike a chord with people who grew up in small country towns. “American Friday Night,” “I’m Good,” “Hometown,” “Carolina Blue,” “It’s Good To Be Us,” and “The Bible And The Belt,” all do an amazing job of connecting with this audience. In “Empty Handed,” Bucky tells the story of people who left that small town life behind but in seeking the good life found it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
Besides the small town anthems, Bucky also shows his range of being able to pull off a break-up song in “Ain’t No Thing” and a sad but inspirational song in “I’ll Walk.” I’ll Walk” tells the story of a high-school sweetheart hit by a car on prom night, who is determined to walk down the aisle on her wedding day. It speaks to how a random tragic event can be completely unexpected, and the determination of the human will to bounce back from tragedy.
While I’ve raved about the songs on Bucky’s debut CD, there is something else that should stand out to American Idol fans who buy the CD. Bucky had his ups and downs on American Idol, and he was really only just beginning to hit his stride during the week he got voted off after singing “Fat Bottomed Girls.” Bucky evidently hasn’t been twiddling his thumbs since getting voted off the show. Bucky has continued to grow, and he’s a much better singer now than he was on Idol. Bucky also showed class by including “American Idol” in his list of thank you’s on his CD. Too many artists want to distance themselves from Idol after the show, which seems silly, because why would anyone want to distance themselves from fans that are going to buy their CD.
In Bucky’s debut CD, I think we’re seeing the emergence of a really great singer. In fact, Bucky’s ability to connect with his audience through his songs is probably the best of any new country singer since,.dare, I say it,Garth Brooks. Besides being a great singer with great songs, one of the things that really set Garth Brooks apart was his ability to connect with his fans. It’s a rare attribute in a singer these days, and Bucky’s got it. A great singer, great songs, and the ability to connect with an audience all adds up to a singer who is going to have a very long career.