From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
Kevin Fowler “Best of … So Far” (Kevin Fowler Records)
A mainstay on the Texas country music scene, Kevin Fowler assembles the perfect soundtrack for a rowdy night of honky-tonking and tom-catting with his first compilation, “Best of … So Far.”
The “100% Texan” wrote or co-wrote all but one of the album’s 18 tracks, and he specializes in unabashedly twangy country-rock. He keeps the fiddles, steel guitars and tongue-in-cheek lyrics rolling and stretches “found” into three syllables on the lightheartd drinking song “Triple Crown.”
From the first track, Fowler vows to get “Loose, Loud and Crazy” and he revels through the Tex-Mex come-on “Senorita Mas Fina,” the cheeky breakup song “Speak of the Devil” and the live version of “Don’t Touch My Willie,” his ornery tribute to country great Willie Nelson.
The album includes Fowler’s rollicking renditions of three tracks he wrote that became singles for other country singers: “Long Line of Losers,” which Montgomery Gentry cut for its 2008 album “Back When I Knew It All”; “The Lord Loves the Drinkin’ Man,” which Mark Chesnutt charted in 2004; and “Beer, Bait & Ammo,” which Sammy Kershaw released in 2003.
The album’s highlight is the witty “Pound Sign,” which last year became Fowler’s first top 40 hit on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. The Amarillo native also shows off his affinity for playful turns of phrase with “Ain’t Drinkin’ Anymore” and on previously unreleased tracks “What I Wouldn’t Give for Your Love” and “Beer Season.”
Fowler allows for a few ballads, including the romantic “Best Mistake I Ever Made” and the apologetic “Hard Man to Love,” but for the most part, his “Best of … So Far” is primed for party time.