Thanks to Waylon and Shooter
for my promotional copy of
"Closing In On The Fire".

Mike Sheets' Review of Closing In On The Fire

First of all, in case you haven't noticed, Waylon is
my favorite singer ever. So I may be a little biased
about his new CD, "Closing In On the Fire". But I do
admit when I don't like something he's done, so I
think I may be qualified to make an educated review
of his work.  Like Waylon, I hate critics who have
no idea what they're talking about, but as a non-pro
reviewer, I hope to just tell you fan-to-fan what to
expect from Waylon's great new album.

The title cut "Closing In On The Fire" is the bluesiest,
funkiest, John Fogertyest thing Waylon's ever recorded.
Written by Tony Joe White, it sounds tailor-made to
Waylon's drawling growl.

Even though I rarely like for a song to have tempo
changes, "I Know About Me, Don't Know About You" works
well with Travis Tritt singing the verses and Waylon on
the slower refrain.  Travis is about the only Outlaw
still getting regular airplay on "HotNewCountry" stations,
so a duet between him and Waylon is appropriate, and not 
a bad marketing strategy.

"Best Friends Of Mine" is about Hank Williams, Jr., 
Buddy Holly, and fellow disc-jockey Jim Garcio. Funny and
fun. When Waylon has a friend, he's a friend forever, and
Waylon doesn't mind singing his friends' praises.

"Just Watch Your Mama and Me" sounds like it was written
for Waylon's kids and their mother, but since he's been
married more than most families, it's actually for his
kids and Shooter's mom, Jessi Colter (happily married to
Waylon for 30 years now).  If I didn't know Waylon and
Jessi were soulmates, this song would prove it. Jessi
sings backup, and it's beautiful. This could be a big 
hit if HNC stations had the sense to play it.

Rock star Sting wrote "She's Too Good For Me" and it's
pure rock.  I love the lyrics and everything else about
this one, except Sheryl Crow's mid-song solo seems out
of place.  I like Sheryl alot, but I'm not sure this 
tempo and style change insert works for me. Still, it's
good to see that Waylon can rock at least as well as
Hank Jr. when he wants to.  

"Back Home Where I come From" is a funny, funky, semi-
autobiographical, "I'm a crazy redneck" kind of song.
Waylon wrote it, and I love it.

Waylon's cute, talented friend Kimmie Rhodes wrote "Be
Mine," a soft, soulful love song which Waylon really
wraps his arms and voice around.  Mark Knopfler plays
guitar as only he can, and long-time Waylon backup
singer Carter Robertson is a welcome addition to this
and other songs on this CD.

Waylon got the idea for "Easy Money" from a friend's
nickname for him.  Waylon knows better than most folks
how easy money, easy living, and easy loving are "easy
come, easy go."  The dancehall piano on this one is
great.  Cool song.

"Blues Don't Care" is very bluesy (duh!). Think Delbert
McClinton or Fabulous Thunderbirds with a better voice.
(I like Delbert and T-birds alot, but Waylon DOES have
a better voice, you know.)

"Untitled Waltz" proves that Roger Miller may be alive
and well and calling himself Kevin Welch.  Waylon's
longtime hero and friend Carl Smith duets on this one,
and Carl never sounded better.  It reminds me some of
"The World Gone Crazy Cotillion" from WHAT GOES AROUND, 
but with even better lyrics.

"No Expectations" is an old Rolling Stones' song, and
Waylon does it at least as well as the Stones original.
When Waylon sings, "I've got no expectations to ever
pass through here again," I can't help but wonder if he's
thinking of his current place in life and career. I
just hope his life and career continue for alot longer.

The CD concludes with Waylon's spoken audio liner notes.
He mostly tells a bit about each song, and though he
seemed to have laryngitis when he recorded the notes,
it's always great to hear him talk about his life and 
work. His funny quips aren't just on "Dukes of Hazzard."

Waylon's done phenomonal albums (Always Been Crazy, 
Ramblin' Man, Dreaming my Dreams, etc.), a few average
albums, and lots of really good albums.  This one is
at least REALLY GOOD!  Maybe one of the top 5 he's
done. I'll need to listen to it 50 more times to see
how it holds up, but after 4 listens, I LOVE It!  Well,
I loved it after one listen, and it only gets better.
Compared to other Waylon albums, Closing In On The Fire"
is (on a scale of 10) at least a 9.5...and compared to
any other singer, well, compare Mt. Everest to a pimple
if you like.  Waylon's the greatest singer alive. Here's

Mike Sheets, Dublin, VA. 

Close In On These Links

Mike's Waylon World
back to the main page, links
GoonDaddy's review of Closing In
another good review of this CD