Listen Before Dialing
On the sophomore effort, Listen Before Dialing, Roman Reese sticks to the four topics he knows best: Liquor, The Lord, Women, and War... with an occasional tune about copper mining disasters, Cupid's evil twin, and epilepsy. The grit and sand, leftover from his last album, Gritty City, are still dirtying things up a bit, but this album features additional musicians. Clint Mullican slaps on the bass, Hunter Deacon beats the pagan skins, Matt Foster delivers superb harmony vocals and plays mandolin and dobro, and Michael Davis plucks at a banjo while also providing ecceptional harmony vocals. This is bar rock - no doubt. Whether you're getting ready for a fist fight or a night with the girl, you'll find your inspiration on Listen Before Dialing. 'Listen Before Dialing is a disc worth celebrating. Reese is a really good songwriter, and the reason you notice is because he writes to his own strengths. He's got a great voice for country and rock that calls for minimal instrumental support, and as a songwriter he never throws himself anything he can't catch as a singer. Technically, he has multiple voices, a trait both functional and effective. On a song like 'Smoke Rings' he pipes, 'Blowing smoke rings can't be taught, must be learned,' and makes his voice almost crack the word 'learned' into two syllables while he shifts pitch to evoke both Steve Earle and Joe Ely. Or whoever your own favorite Southern accent singers may be...' Chris Barrett, Metropulse.