Michael Waddell's Bone Collector: The Brotherhood Album featuring Rhett Akins & Dallas Davidson
By: Bobby Peacock
Now here's a real oddity. Take one host of an genre-specific outdoors show (Michael Waddell of the Outdoor Channel's Bone Collector), two hot Nashville songwriters (Rhett Akins and Dallas Davidson, two-thirds of the Peach Pickers). Have the former serve as inspiration to an album of hunting-inspired songs. The result? The Brotherhood Album, released through Reprise Records. It sounds bizarre on the surface, but if anyone's gonna review the album, it might as well be me. After all, I live in northern Michigan, where deer stands are an absurdly common sight this time of year, and nearly every station in the area is spinning Da Yoopers' "Second Week of Deer Camp."
Most of the songs are cute, solidly-sung 21st-century country, and it all sounds pretty darn good if unsurprising. "My Baby Looks Good in Camouflage" leads off the album, offering a silly little lyric about — gasp! — a woman who wants to hunt. "Weapons of Bass Destruction" refers not to fishing with dynamite, but rather all sorts of lures, hooks, bait and paraphernalia needed to fish. Dallas gets an almost-rap on "Yella Acorns," a novelty number about deer baiting. "Buck Fever" also has a bit of a pseudo-rap feel and a lyric that, of course, describes deer hunting as being like a fever. "Duck Blind" is pretty obviously a song focused on hunting ducks, and "Hung Up" goes for turkey. If you want something a little more exotic, "Hawgs" is a rocking little ditty about hunting razorbacks, complete with a delicious little barbecue-themed rap from Colt Ford.
Not to say that the whole album is novelty. "Grandaddy's Gun" vividly describes a cracked, double-barrel 12-gauge and the memories that it holds — everything from what Grandaddy shot with it (everything from game to a burglar) and to what the narrator shot with it (a stop sign). It's heartfelt and not cutesy, and a pleasant surprise on the album. Similarly, "Keepers" gives a three-minute backstory for a bait shop owner and his "keepers," or the three best buddies in the pictures on his walls. Closer "Opening Day" is the third ballad on the album, with a calmer, more relaxed, conversational look at the first day of the season. When he mentions his little boy taking his very first buck, you can't help but see the smile on his face; it gives the song a charming sense of authenticity.
The Brotherhood Album has a particularly narrow focus. It's the kind of album that's meant to get you in the mood for hunting, whether it's your long trek to Cabela's or just a shorter trip out to your favorite hunting spot. Anyone who isn't a hunter or fisherman might have a hard time identifying with any of the songs (except maybe "Keepers," which really should be released as a single), but the album has a clear enough purpose, and it delivers in slick, tuneful fashion.
If you prefer your music to be more than ones and zeroes you can purchase the CD at Amazon.