Tracy Lawrence is one of the most consistent – and consistently popular – artists in country music today. That’s not surprising for a guy with the grit and determination that Lawrence has shown since he arrived in Nashville back in 1990. Determined to build a career in music, he worked in telephone sales and as an ironworker during the day and played talent shows and gigs at night. Then just before the release of his first album, “Sticks and Stones” in 1991, he was shot four times protecting his then girlfriend when attacked by four would-be robbers.
Yes, it takes a lot to stop Tracy Lawrence. He’s built of strong stuff and not the kind of guy to let setbacks slow him down for long. Over the years, the albums have kept coming and so have the hit singles, such as “Alibis,” “Find Out Who Your Friends Are,” “Paint Me a Birmingham,” and more.
Tracy Lawrence fans eagerly awaited the latest album, “Headlights, Taillights and Radios” and they’re happy to know it’s vintage Lawrence at his best.
The album kicks off with “Footprints On The Moon” which is also one of two singles plucked from the project. “Footprints” is an uptempo pop-country tune that builds from a deceptively gentle intro into a fun, happy-go-lucky love song with lyrics like “Let’s catch a ride on a shooting star / We’ll wave goodbye when we pass Mars.” In less skilled hands, this could be kinda sappy, but Lawrence injects it with something special. Catchy? I guarantee you’ll be singing along with the chorus by the second listen.
“Stop Drop and Roll,” the other single on the album, has Tracy rocking along telling his girl that he can’t take her to town because she’s so hot she’d burn the honky tonk down. It’s a great longneck-wavin’ party anthem that gets audiences whoopin’ at his live shows.
“Cecil’s Palace” has a western swing feel to it as we hear: “There’s rasslin’ on the weekends while you’re sittin’ at the bar / You can order food, get a new tattoo, get drunk and watch NASCAR.” This is Lawrence at his fun-lovin’ redneck best and seems tailor-made for a raucous music video.
There are ballads here, too, like the sweet and touching “Good Girl” and the sadly poignant “Saving Savannah” to balance the mix. The album closes with “Butterfly,” that begins with devastation wrought by a tornado and ends with the uplifting thought: “I believe in my soul / When it’s my time I’ll take a ride / On the wings of a butterfly.”
So far, neither single has made much of an impact on the charts, despite being as good or better than anything currently heard on Country radio. But a tough, determined guy like Lawrence probably isn’t too concerned yet. He remembers that “Find Out Who Your Friends Are” took four months to enter the charts after its release and then didn’t reach the Number One spot until its forty-first week, setting a new record for the slowest climbing Number One country single.
“Headlights, Taillights and Radios” is a must-have for even casual Tracy Lawrence fans and could serve as a fine introduction for new listeners. The album is available at traditional and digital music retailers. Definitely worth a listen.