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Emerson Drive - Countrified  
Album Review By: Penny Rondinella, CSO Staff Journalist

Emerson Drive starts off this new endeavor (their third album) with an awesome current single "A Good Man." A song that celebrates the rewards of being a good person, and living in a small town. Someone just wanting to be known as a good person, after all is said and done . With the help of some great producers like Teddy Gentry (Alabama) and others I believe Countrified is going to be something to be talked about and played for some time. This new album on newly formed independent label, Midas Records Nashville, has some real up beat tunes like "Testify" and "Countrified Soul" which show off what they can do, not only sing harmonies, but tear it up. Songs that will get you off the couch and make you want to dance. "Countrified Soul", dubbed by Gentry as "turbograss", shows off the talent these artists have at playing their instruments. "This would be the party song on the album" says the drummer Mike Melancon, "It's just so much fun to play live", he also says it captures the energy and spirit of the band. Of course what is a good Country album without some good ballads, well they thought of that too, "Everyday Woman," a song that will capture the heart of every woman that hears it. A song that sings the praise of the everyday woman who feels so ordinary, but is everything to her special someone. The Southern soul of "Sweet Natural Girl", co-written by talented Jeffrey Steele brings a little bit of groove to the album. A song about the love of someone, that is so strong and so taken by that person. Of course it wouldn't be a real country album without the flip side of love being true and right; "Painted Too Much Of This Town" and "You Still Own Me," when you just can't shake that person you had so much love for and the memory and all the pain that comes with that. But I have to say that my all time favorite on this whole album is "Lucky Man", everything is right with the world as long as you have that certain someone that believes in you and stays by your side. 

But lets step back into the past with this incredible group for a second. You might remember this great band from a few years back when they emerged from Canada onto the Country scene in 2001. They were signed with DreamWorks Nashville and were one of the very few artists in the business to play all their own instruments on ALL of their records. Hits at the time were "I Should Be Sleeping," "Fall Into Me" and "Last One Standing." Awards including CMA's Top New Vocal Group/Duo in 2003 and Billboards #1 Top Country Artist of the Year in 2002. Emerson Drive, if you are wondering consists of band mates Mike Melancon on drums, Patrick Bourque on bass guitar, David Pichette on fiddle, Danick Dupelle on guitar, Dale Wallace on keyboards, and Brad Mates on lead vocals. 

Right after releasing the album What If in 2004, DreamWorks went through corporate restructuring and left them without a label. So they decided to go ahead and set up shop in Nashville, settle down and hone in on their writing skills. They had been living out of Hotels and a bus for a while and decided it was more comfortable to have a home base for their personal belongings, and be able to be more creative and relaxed with all that there is close by in Nashville.

Now a few years later and with the help of some very talented people in the business, they are ready to make another mark in country music. And their fans are still there waiting to support and help them. Brad Mates and Danick Dupelle both have song writing credits on this album along with Jeffrey Steele, in my opinion, one of the best, if not the best writers in Nashville. I have to mention that I thought "Devil Went Down To Georgia" was a great way to end this album. What a special treat for the fans that heard them play this song for years in concert. Charlie Daniels himself recorded part of the track with them, which just had to be such an awesome moment in itself. This album is an amazing work of art and I'm proud to say 
that I absolutely enjoyed every minute listening to it.

Click on the CD cover to order yours!
1. A Good Man 
2. Testify 
3. Moments 
4. Sweet Natural Girl 
5. You Still Own Me 
6. Lucky Man
7. Everyday Woman 
8. Countrified Soul 
9. Painted Too Much of This Town 
10. Boy Becomes A Man 
11. Devil Went Down To Georgia (Featuring Charlie Daniels) 

Related Links:
Official Website 

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