Good Wine & Bad Decision features 14 stunning tracks, most of which were written by Julie and Jason Callum, one half of her production team Sorted Noise. The other tracks come from various sources including Buddy & Julie Miller (“Gasoline & Matches”), Michael Kiwanuka (“Bones”), Chris Stapleton (the arresting “Daddy Doesn’t Pray”), Steve Earle (“I’m Not Getting Any Better At Goodbyes”) and a cover of the Bobbie Gentry classic “He Made A Woman Out Of Me.” The sprinkling of covers makes for added variety on the decidedly timeless sounding album.
Roberts sounds sultry on “If I Were You” (which features a harmonica solo from Mickey Raphael) while she gets bluesy on the torch ballad “Old Habit.” The memphis soul comes alive on “When It’s Over” while Julie’s soulful “Good Wine & Bad Decisions” breathes new life into classic country balladry. It’s all part of giving Good Wine & Bad Decisions the timeless quality many contemporary ‘classic’ albums fail to achieve. Case in point is Stapleton’s “Daddy Doesn’t Pray.” It’s a startling song that doesn’t reveal the true reason for why “Daddy doesn’t pray anymore” until the final verse, which then goes to prove that there was only one way a simple man would ever stop praying to the Lord, no matter what life brought him. Meanwhile, “Arms of Jesus” is a hopeful song that would work perfectly for anyone’s funeral, a song about the faith that Jesus will be there waiting for us when we pass away.
Good Wine & Bad Decisions may be a decidedly ‘downbeat’ album but it feels more like a soul-affirming and soul-filling collection of music, the kind of music that the current music industry was built upon. There’s always a time and location for happy music and even on this downbeat collection, songs like “Keep Me Up All Night” are present, but there’s always time to have a song to have a good cry with or to sit, listen and contemplate with. Good Wine & Bad Decisions is such an album.