This guy needs to get out of Hollywood and spend more time in Nashville showing ‘em how it should be done. John Corbett’s more famous for having major face time on both the little screen (Northern Exposure, Sex and the City) and the big one (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) than being seen or heard in bars or the airwaves. But with the release of his latest, Leaving Nothin' Behind, on his own Funbone label, all that’s about to change. Dale Watson thought enough of his talents to have him open for him at Austin’s Continental Club, hardly a place for pretty boy actor wannabe musicians. Corbett came through then and keeps on coming on strong on his sophomore release.
Corbett’s eponymous ’06 debut showed he was no poser, earning him a #42 slot on Billboard’s country charts. The Wheeling, West Virginia native shows his roots on his latest, with help from Guy Clark collaborator Jon Randall Stewart (Emmylou Harris' Nash Ramblers, writer of the Allison Krauss /Brad Paisley hit "Whisky Lullaby") who wrote 7 of the record’s ten cuts. Corbett sounds perfectly at home no matter whose skin he’s in. On “Rainy Windy Sunshine,” the singer/guitarist sounds like he’s brushed up against John Mellencamp, coming away with more twang. Willis Alan Ramsey’s “Satin Sheets” is a headlong country style romp with a Jerry Lee Lewis feel bolstered by some nasty dobro from Dan Dugmore (Linda Ronstadt James Taylor, David Crosby, Trisha Yearwood, Tim McGraw, ,Neil Diamond, Stevie Nicks.) “Backside of Backslide” is a Tex-Mex excursion right out of the Doug Sahm catalogue.
This thing is a guitar fans paradise, with Dugmore, former Black Crowe guitarist Audley Freed(Dixie Chicks, Govt. Mule,) ex-Ricky Skaggs band Kentucky Thunder and 3 time winner of the IBMA Guitarist of the year Bryan Sutton (Dolly Parton, Tony Rice) all pulling strings in a honky-tonk twangfest with soulful country roots.
Listen up. This is the soundtrack of a star who needs to be heard as much as seen.
By Grant Britt