20 October 2005
From around the corner
I remember being jolted the day I heard Garth Brooks on KJ-103 (!) doing a Billy Joel (!!) song. A "Shameless" ploy, we called it, but hey, it worked. And here I find Monique Gonzales, another Oklahoma country-ish singer with crossover appeal, doing Joel's "Matter of Trust."
Gonzales' first album, Out of Nowhere, issued on the Blanchard-based Triple Tower label, has now arrived at my listening post, and it's pretty decent. Recorded at the Engine Room in Oklahoma City, it's long on heart and comparatively short on overdubs; the nine songs here (there are both English and Spanish versions of "Momma", making ten tracks in all) include a remake of a Garth Brooks recording ("You Move Me"), a lovely take on Dan Fogelberg's "Leader of the Band", and some Oklahoma originals. My favorite of the lot, I think, is the heartrending "Far Side of Lonely," in which Gonzales manages to sound simultaneously wistful and world-weary. There's nothing here likely to bring down the house, but it's better than about half the stuff you're likely to hear on country radio these days.Posted at 6:19 AM to Tongue and Groove