Blame it on the Whiskey

Denny Wheatley

Channeling classic chops, Wheatley’s debut transports listeners to the days when the construction of country songs mattered more than an artist’s age, hairstyle or love life. These tunes are traditional, spirited and stately, drawing on many canonical influences, starting with Hank and Jimmie Rodgers. The title song breaks out of the starting gate like a blistering Willie and Waylon tune, and Wheatley’s voice eerily resembles Willie’s relaxed, nasally tone in “The Faker,” a she-done-me-wrong walking tune sure to please those looking for a little beer-drinking chill music. Wheatley also drops just enough turns-of-phrases on “Cry, Cry Baby” and “You and Me” to resemble cuts off John Prine’s In Spite of Ourselves, and the Caribbean-tinged “If It Weren’t for You” should be covered by Jimmy Buffett. It could be his biggest hit in years.