Dave Insley

Call Me Lonesome
(Redeye USA)

Dave Insley arrived in Arizona straight off a Kansas wheat farm, initially playing guitar in honky-tonks around Wickenburg, Yarnell and Payson before settling in Tempe in 1979 -- where he suddenly found himself playing traditional country for punks more accustomed to Jodie Foster's Army and the Meat Puppets. To fit in, Insley's band adopted the name Chaingang and played in gimmicky prison stripes. Later, Insley played in the Trophy Husbands, a roots-conscious quartet that specialized in saga songs steeped in Western folklore. For Insley's solo outing, the 44-year-old abandons all signs of detached irony or Americana concept-album pretense and simply lets his country heart beat, turning in a solid 10-song set that alternately swings (the clarinet-buoyed "Gilded Cage"), serenades (the lovely "Cowboy Lullaby") and rocks (the jocular kiss-off ditty "There's Gonna Be a Few Changes") beneath Insley's made-for-campfires baritone.

At times, the humor seems too cornball and the ballads a bit too earnest to be coming from the same guy who once lampooned C&W anachronisms with such parched wit. But there's enough authenticity in Insley's hangdog voice to prove this is where he's belonged all along.

 
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