Lucky Man (Curb)

The voice is clean, pure and strong. The writing is equally brilliant. So which aspect of Hal Ketchum's new CD is best? It doesn't matter &endash; country fans will be enchanted with both!

Hal has a voice that projects sincerity, a commanding high range and a clarity that other singers dream of. He can also blend and harmonize with anyone, as he demonstrates here with Dolly Parton on "Two Of The Lucky Ones," Ricochet on "Don't Let Go" and Lisa Brokop on "Keep Mom And Dad In Love."

Hal's reputation as country's poet laureate will be enhanced with the simple but intelligent lyrics of the seven Lucky Man cuts he wrote. Hal can take a theme anyone can relate to and, with a twist of phrase, make it uniquely his own. The songs cover the gamut from finding that special love to losing them, and from looking back to hoping for the future.

The album's production and arrangements are tasteful and supportive, keeping the focus on Hal's voice &endash; a sonic hallmark of producer Rodney Crowell. The harmonious collaboration between Rodney and Hal makes Lucky Man an absolute joy.

- D.L. Jay Bedford

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