Recently, I Was Approached by The Nashville Music Guide about doing an album review for Michelle Poe’s CD, Just One of the Boys. At first I was reluctant to commit to the project for the simple reason that there are just not very many female artists from any genre that I am “into.” In fact, I could count them all without having to take my damn boots off and using my toes. Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way being overly critical of anyone just because of their gender in general. I’m simply stating that I more readily identify with music from a male perspective and that’s what I mostly listen to.
Yet Michelle Poe grabbed me for multiple reasons. I mean, here’s a drop-dead gorgeous young lady in a cowboy hat, playing a guitar, who is currently on tour with Hank Williams, Jr. Ouch!! What could be sexier? She is just way too hot to handle because she is without a doubt, the epitome of what every country boy dreams of—beautiful, sexy and talented. So I accepted the challenge because I was intrigued.
I met Miss Michelle out on the road while she was on tour as bass guitarist for the iconic Bocephus, who just happens to be my biggest musical hero. In person, I found Miss Poe to be very warm with a gentle disposition, and a great sense of humor. Immediately, I felt like we clicked and was very relieved to find a friend that I could easily laugh and talk with as we got to know each other. I soon discovered that Michelle is an awe-inspiring, breathtaking presence who is so sweet that I don’t think sugar could melt in her mouth.
But my job was about the music not the person, and although I was already hooked I had to remain objective and stay focused despite the instant rapport that came so easily. I could not wait to listen to her songs in order to learn more about her.
The first thing I noticed about Just One of the Boys is that it is a DreamWorks Nashville release produced by James Stroud and Don Cook. From that bit of information I knew right away that I was in for a high quality entertainment experience. The cliché certainly fits that Michelle Poe is the perfect “girl next door,” but can it be that she can actually sing, too, which would make her the ultimate, “total package?” I could not wait to find out. I ripped off the cellophane and slammed that disc into the player with high hopes that what I was starting to suspect was actually true. Maybe, just maybe, I had found the perfect female artist to add to my collection of favorites.
Brother, let me tell you, Michelle Poe could sing the freaking phone book and have the Tin Man’s heart skipping beats somewhere over the damn rainbow. Wait for it…wait for it…is she gonna hit that next note? Hell yea, she nailed it on time and right on key. Man, this girl can sing! What a refreshing experience it was to be totally rocked by such an angelic alto voice. I never would have dreamed that I would have been taken so quickly. Imagine that. I guess you really can teach an old salty dawg new tricks after all. I sure learned that my kind of Country doesn’t always have to be a rough and rowdy outlaw sound for it to crank me up. The self-penned songs of Michelle Poe opened up a whole new world of music for me.
One of my favorite cuts from the album is entitled That’s Not Me. It is a masterfully written ballad that reminds us that sometimes what we do for “true love” is not always what is true for our hearts. Love may be a powerful force that can change your life but you just can’t change your life for love.—not for very long anyway. At least that’s what I got from the powerful lyrics of that song.
Over the course of quite a few of the tracks I could envision myself curled up by the fireplace with my lady, a glass of wine in hand, while enjoying the expressive and relaxing sound of Michelle’s music about life and love. However the title track, Just One of the Boys, makes me want to grab a beer and kick my heels up around a campfire for a honky-stomping good time. Speaking of the title track, is that Dierks Bentley making a cameo appearance on the YouTube video for Just One of the Boys? Yes sir, I believe it is! Miss Michelle played bass for a Dierks’ tour as well.
Come to find out, Michelle Poe is one of the best kept secrets of Nashville and has been for many years. She is a very well established and connected artist who is usually found performing behind other major acts. With Just One of the Boys, she stepped up to center stage and shined liked the star that she is. She’s not going to be a secret much longer. Look out, boys! Michelle Poe is here to stay! As a matter of fact her sophomore EP that is yet to be titled is due for release sometime early in 2016. I had the pleasure of hearing one of the new tracks, Honey Do from her upcoming album and if it ain’t a hit I will kiss your ass in the middle of Music Row in front of a sold out crowd. As good as her first album is, Miss Poe has taken her talents to a whole new level. I wouldn’t have thought that her voice could be any stronger, but what I just heard is a confident, highly professional artist at her very best. If the rest of the new album is like Honey Do then Michelle has moved on to a more rockin’, outlaw sound that is among the best I have ever heard. I will be anxiously awaiting the new CD since I am now a huge fan. Give me a Michelle Poe and a campfire and I will be the last to go home, just like one of the boys because she is not just an average girl.
If you are like I was when I started this project—not very interested in love songs or chick singers—then you, too, may have overlooked this incredible talent on this jewel of an album. Should that be the case, from one hard head to another, I highly recommend that you expand your horizons and order Michelle Poe’s album, Just One of the Boys today. It is in extremely short supply and can only be ordered by sending her a private message on Facebook, www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008818964844&fref=ts Grab your copy while you can and look for the next album at www.michellepoe.com. If she don’t get your blood to pumping and your feet to moving then you had better check your damn pulse and dial 9-1-1.
Great job Michelle Poe, I will see you at the top of the charts!!
-Captain Joe Kent-