CD REVIEW: Doug Briney - Super Country Cowboy
by: Cyrus Rhodes
Artist: Doug Briney
Super Country Cowboy
Americana-Pop, Modern Country, Saloon Jazz, R&B
A recent move to Nashville, Tennessee has brought Doug to the epicenter of the country music industry. Grateful for being able to live his dream of performing and recording music, he has gladly given back to his community in a big way. Surrounded by a history of veterans and military service in his family, (his son currently serves in the Air Force) Doug has begun working with Bright Star International, who will help facilitate Doug’s work with veterans’ charities. An ordained pastor, Doug also served at the Cowboy Church of Anchorage, Alaska, prior to his family’s relocation to Music City, USA. In fact, it’s his unwavering faith and love of country music that has led Doug on his journey. “I have come to know and love the Cowboy Lifestyle through country music…And, it is who I am now, who I have been, and who I will always be.” This latest effort "Super Country Cowboy" contains 9 tracks and was released in 2014.
The CD kicks gets off the ground nicely with the Track 1 “Super Country Cowboy” a jumping flowing intro piece that serves up slamming guitar, Hammond Organ, hooky groove meshed against slamming guitar solo, slide guitar, effective harmonies and soulful melody from Briney. Track 2 “I Get To” shifts gears a bit with steady flowing rhythm, well placed guitar and Harmonica chops painted against a grand slam chorus making for an impressive heart felt follow-up statement. Track 3 “Pretty Good Deal” is another impressive groove that dishes out methodical musical build, rock steady rhythm, impressive and shall we say thought provoking lyrical content that flows and ebbs its way through to motional fruition. The CD makes a great first impression dashing out 3 rock solid songs in a row. The musicianship of everyone involved (which includes dome impressive session players) is above the bar. I would classify this music as classic Americana Pop, with brief touches of Modern Country and even Saloon Jazz to R&B. Music is reminiscent of classic Hank Williams Jr., Delbert McClinton and Brooks and Dunn, Keith Whitley, Lee Roy Parnell. Along the way you will notice lush instrumentation with things like impressive piano, fiddles, impressive rhythm and solo guitar, impressive Hammond Organ, lush harmonies layered everywhere all built upon a thick as a brick rhythm section. What I like the most about this band is how well they seem to groove together, testament to hundreds of hours of writing and rehearsal time no doubt. Now turning our attention over to Briney - as for his vocal abilities well he’s a great advent. His voice goes down smooth and fills the space peacefully and unobtrusively with a timber that is simply infectious. I might add he takes some impressive vocal risks indicating to me a confident vocal ability. He'd got good power when the music calls for it. Briney also plays guitar on the album. All songs are extremely well crafted and consistent across the board - world class songwriting. This CD from Briney delivers 9 solid tracks all providing musical enjoyment filled with strong musical variety and diversity. The music of Doug Briney has everything you would expect from a world class musical production. From heartfelt “Believe” and “The Choices you Make” to thought provoking “The Money, The Gun and the Bible” and Eugene Fuguay” to rocking “I’m Up” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 9 "Unknown Soldier” the perfect finale statement for a CD like this.
I wish there were more extended solo segments throughout the catalog. CD is a bit short, perhaps 3-4 more tracks are needed to make this a fully loaded CD release. All vocals sit really hot within the mix – I kept reaching for the volume knob, apparently someone decided to do that for me. I don’t care for the snare drum tonality overall. All songs over 3.5 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line.
From start to finish Super Country Cowboy by Doug Briney is a barnburner collection of music. The songwriting – the gold standard, all consistent musical experiences, each one possessing a unique personality, flair, and signature groove. Note for note, song for song there isn’t really weak piece on this entire catalog. The writing and playing abilities of Briney and company are rock solid. The melodies and harmonies are well crafted, and the lyrical content is packed to the hilt with good old fashioned no holds barred R&B-Pop-Rock swagger. At the end of the day Doug Briney brings the mojo and is clearly a marquee talent based out of Tennessee. One would be wise to keep a watchful eye on him over the years to come.