Undeniably Country, the latest album from Texas native Curtis Grimes, is exactly what its title suggests – solid, traditional, country. A former academic scholar and athlete, Grimes, 31, has long been a fan of the Texas country sound, and his Texas upbringing is evident in his work. Grimes was a contestant on the 2011 season of “The Voice” and made it to the quarterfinals of the show. The national exposure and a strong fan base in his home state have opened doors for the artist. In addition, he won the Austin leg of Kenny Chesney’s “The Next Big Star Contest,” allowing him to open for Chesney during his “Poets & Pirates Tour” in 2008.
Grimes has four previous number one hits on the Texas Regional Radio Charts, and fans should embrace this new body of work with open arms. Undeniably Country, produced by Trent Willmon, is a collection of songs reminiscent of the more traditional country genre and heavy on fiddle and steel guitar. The album digs deep into the heart of country music, with songs about heartache, surviving hard times, faith, and holding true to one’s values. The lead track, “Everything Hank Did,” is a Keith Whitley song that was never recorded, and references drunken nights that often go hand-in-hand with life on the road. However, the story turns a refreshing corner when it’s realized that this lifestyle is not necessary for happiness and success.
The lead single off the album, “From Where I’m Standing,” is a traditional love song written by Thomas Rhett and Chris Janson. Grimes found the song on YouTube, and says in a track preview, “It’s just very, very vivid imagery of what it’s like to have a simple just loving perspective of your significant other.”
Traditional values and themes are present throughout the album. “Had A Thing” touches upon the milestones and struggles one faces during the course of life and career and emphasizes the importance of keeping priorities in check. Faith is a constant theme, and the track is heartfelt and heavy.
Perhaps the track with the strongest message on Undeniably Country is “Born To Die,” a song co-written with Lance Carpenter. With a very strong faith-based message, Grimes sings about what Jesus sacrificed for the world and reminds the listener not to lose sight of that. “Put My Money on That” and “If You Ask Me” focus on blue collar American pride, standing up for beliefs, and the beauty that comes from living a simple life and doing the right thing. Track four, “Right About Now,” is an upbeat, boot-stomping song that should get a crowd dancing.
The album concludes with a very tongue-in-cheek song called “Ten Year Town.” In his track preview (below), Grimes explains his opinion on where country music is today, and how his personal taste leans more towards the traditional sound. The song is a fitting way to end the album, which regardless of personal preference, most definitely stands out from the pop-country often heard on radio today.
Bottom Line: If you’ve been looking for old school country sound from a young up and coming artist, take note of Curtis Grimes.
Undeniably Country Track Listing
- Everything Hank Did
- If You Ask Me
- From Where I’m Standing
- Right About Now
- Had a Thing
- Born to Die
- Put My Money on That
- Ten Year Town