Due West - Forget The Miles

Due West have been hittin' the pavement for a few years now and this six song album represents their first wide-ranging album release.  How does it compare to other contemporary artists and groups?

It was about two years ago that I started to hear a song called “I Get That All The Time” and it eventually ended up being a featured song on our CMA Festival exclusive CD giveaway.  Last year the trio of Tim Gates, Brad Hull, and Matt Lopez released a single “Bible and The Belt” and scored another hit on Music Row and Indicator radio charts with the single and perhaps even bigger than that success, the song landed the trio a new record deal with Black River Entertainment.  Both of these tunes are featured on the talented trio’s Forget The Miles along with four other tunes, five of them written or co-written by Tim, Brad or Matt. 

Forget The Miles starts off with “22 Hours A Day,” a tune that chronicles the life of a hard-working band who loves what they do so much they that they proclaim how happy they are to work ’22 hours a day for two hours of play.’ It’s an enjoyable song that any hard-working person can relate to as well, because for many of us, those two hours of being at a show or a bar or a movie are enough to help us get through each day.  “Country Music Made a Man Out of Me” is an interesting, song that weaves in lyrics and titles of classic country songs into a cohesive honky tonkin’ tune about how country music helped teach a man about life.  The new single from this album, “When The Smoke Clears” is a passionate, emotive cautionary tale of a power ballad that evokes great vocal groups like Restless Heart, Shenandoah and of course Rascal Flatts. It’s a tune that reminds us that nothing is as bad as we think it can be and the urge to cross lines we shouldn’t cross (like cheating) aren’t worth of wrecking a life that was made before the urge arrived. Hopefully the tune will catch on at radio as it is a powerful slice of contemporary country music balladry that recalls classics of the past.

The two previously mentioned singles are two of the final three tracks on the album and both “I Get That All The Time” and “Bible and the Belt” are strong songs but “I Get That All The Time” hits harder and it tells the tale of a man who loves his wife and children so much that he doesn’t mind what may be boring or run-of-the-mill to them.  The lone song on this six song album not written by the trio, “Try Living in a Small Town,” was instead written by album co-producer Jason Deere and SheDaisy’s Kristyn Osborne.  Like the rest of the songs on the album, “Try Living…” is a radio-ready, vocal showcase featuring a slice-of-life lyric.  It also has a lyric about small country towns that isn’t filled with nearly the clichés of many songs that have been hits of late.  I have a feeling that we’ll be hearing this one on the radio sometime within the life cycle of this album, perhaps after “When The Smoke Clears” has finished its chart run.

With radio and fans more receptive to good music from more than the four big labels, here’s hoping that Due West is on its way to competing with the top groups in mainstream country music as Forget The Miles certainly proves that they’re ready.

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