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Dusty Drake - Self-titled debut album
Album Review by: Cheryl H. Hill, Staff Journalist

This self-titled CD starts off with an upbeat ditty titled "Too Wet To Plow" and, for a moment, I thought I had accidentally put in a Montgomery Gentry CD by mistake. Don't misunderstand me; I intend this to be a compliment. In fact, it is pretty impressive if one individual can manage to convey the power, quality and passion of a strong duo -- and one of the very best duos at that. Not bad, not bad at all. Ironically, the very next song on the album is titled "Not Bad For A Good Ole Boy," and I totally agree with that observation. This is most likely a befitting, although modest, evaluation of Dusty Drake.     
All of the songs on this album have, intentionally or unintentionally, a worthy message or moral but the most powerful song is "One Last Time." The last line of the song is, "as the pilot tries to pull the plane out of a dive... one... last..." While waiting for the last word of this song, which never comes, you suddenly realize that you are holding your breath. Wow! The power of this song is comparable to a free-fall from one of those wild adventure rides; only here, you aren't anticipating the fall and that makes the jolt more powerful when you hit the reality wall. My understanding is that this song was written about 9-11, but it illustrates a dynamic lesson about every day life. Not everyone gets the opportunity, in his or her last few moments on earth, to make one last connection to the person they love. This song will unquestionably make you do some reevaluating of your own life. You might even find yourself picking up the phone to make a long over due call.

Drake had a hand in writing several of the songs on this album including the cavalier "Ain't Nobody's Business." Although I think the song is, in part autobiographical, the album insert reveals a much gentler side of Mr. Drake and it is just as impressive as his vocal and songwriting talents.

After nominating his wife for "Best Supporting Musician's Wife" (which he predicts she would easily win -- if there were such an award) he goes on to say, "God sent us two angels in our sons. I am convinced the only reason I am their daddy is because God knew she would be their mommy." Okay, folks, these ahhhhhhhh-inspiring words come from a man with long hair, tattoos, and a dad-gum big ole earring who claims to be part of "a bunch of thirty-something-year-old guys going on eighteen." All things considered, this translates to only one thing: the man is an absolute, bonafide, authentic born artist ... musician/poet/singer.

I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of his album, including the liner notes and the photos on the liner. I agree wholeheartedly with his simple philosophy, "Ain't nothing worth havin' if it comes too easy." Drake has the vocal proclivity and the kind of voice that penetrates your heart and dives deep into your emotions. Since he already knows that stardom doesn't come easy, and has already demonstrated he is willing to work hard to achieve, I predict he will definitely find his way to the top of the ladder of success

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