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Sammy Sadler/Heart Shaped Like Texas.


2009 release. 1 I Wanna Be Loved by You - 03:43 2 I'll Always Have Denver - 04:09 3 Heart Shaped Like Texas - 03:01 4 I Know a Place - 03:29 5 John - 04:31 6 Trying to Get the Girl - 03:05 7 Thinking About Mexico - 03:41 8 No Place to Land - 03:41 9 If This Ain't Heaven - 02:49 10 That Old Gravel Road - 02:55 11 Thank God - 03:13 Sammy Sadler is a journeyman country singer who has been recording since the late 1980s, but who suffered a serious career interruption when he was shot on Music Row in Nashville in the company of journalist Kevin Hughes, who was murdered as the result of a chart-fixing scheme. Sadler wasn't implicated in the scandal, but his career was derailed for a while. He reminds listeners of the incident in the closing track of Heart Shaped Like Texas, "Thank God," the one song he co-wrote on the album, and while that might seem exploitative, it's also the only truly personal moment on the disc. Sadler has a warm, sturdy tenor voice, and he convincingly renders these 11 songs, which come from the pens of 22 writers. The material spans familiar country styles: "I Wanna Be Loved by You" is country pop; "Heart Shaped Like Texas" is honky tonk/Western swing; "Thinking About Mexico" is Tex-Mex, etc. There is also a strain of Christian religion that runs through the album, notably on "John 3:16." It's all perfectly adequate contemporary country music, but also unremarkable. Even when Sadler gets hold of a song by A-list songwriters Bill Anderson and Steve Wariner, "I'll Always Have Denver" (and ropes Wariner into singing harmony), it's not really top-drawer material, as the derivative title suggests. Sadler needs better songs and a more distinctive persona if he's ever going to be a country star. ~ William Ruhlmann, All Music Guide credits: Bart Busch - Engineer, Vocals (Background) David Hungate - Bass Eddie Bayers - Drums Hoot Hester - Fiddle John Wesley Ryles - Vocals (Background) Mark Beckett - Drums Michael Severs - Guitar (Electric) Mike Kennedy - Drums, Percussion Monty Allen - Vocals (Background) Pat Severs - Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Steel) Robby Springfield - Guitar (Electric), Guitar (Steel) Steven Forrest - Bass Tim Crouch - Fiddle, Guitar (Acoustic), Mandolin
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