One of the best things about country music is its bluntness. It never gets too cute or loses its listeners in a web of analogies and illusions. John Mackey’s latest album “Chasin’ Dreams” abides by this, it’s just straight forward storytelling in its truest form.
You’ll hear Mackey strumming away creating a bed for his tales to lie in here. It’s a comfort thing, like your favorite recliner. There’s no hotshot guitarist stealing the show, just the mortar connecting the brick of the tales. Sometimes it is the life lessons handed down generations like on “Footsteps” and sometimes it is the retelling of a love story like on “Fish Fry.” Not all stories here are so conventional though, on “New Year’s Eve” Mackey throws a bit of a curveball with an awkward chance meeting between ex-lovers. Some gentle spaghetti western guitar plucking can be found on “The Stranger” while Mackey narrates like Johnny Cash. The song stands out as a little different from the group here making for an interesting ending to the record full of stories.
Key Track: “New Year’s Eve”