Music Review: Neal McCoy’s ‘Pride – A Tribute to Charlie Pride’

Album Cover of Pride A Tribute to Charlie Pride by Neal McCoyI didn’t even have to listen to this one to know that I was going to love it. The combination of the classic songs from Charlie Pride and Neal McCoy’s voice set up a can’t-lose scenario with this CD. Neal covers eleven of Pride’s well-known hits like “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone”, “Kiss an Angel Good Mornin'” and “Just Between You and Me” among others. Neal McCoy does these songs justice and then some. McCoy has something something fun about his tone and voice that works so well in some of the more upbeat tunes. On the softer and slower ballad ones, his voice is clear, crisp and a great match for Pride’s numerous hits.

In addition to the great sounding album, the songs shows that country music has varied in its sound since long before recent memory. “Kiss and Angel Good Mornin'”; a hit for Pride in 1971, shows that country artists have been doing crossover hits for years. “Angel” made it not only onto the country charts but also on the adult contemporary and pop charts as well. In that same class of songs is “You’re So Good When You’re Bad”, Pride’s 1982 hit. With its tickled ivories instrumental, this song sounds untypical of what you think of when you think of country music. But I am sure many a cowboy has added it to his make-out music shuffle.

Two highlights of the album for me are “Roll On Mississippi” and “Kaw-Liga”. “Mississippi” features the distinctive, deep tones of Trace Adkins. This gives the song an “Old Man River” feel to it, and compliments McCoy’s lighter voice in a yin-yang kind of way. Neal evokes the fun, paddle-along part of the river and Adkins voice evokes the slow, lazy current. ‘Kaw-Liga’ is a subtle comment on not speaking up about your feelings until it’s too late. The story of the song is a wooden Indian sculpture who is in love with another sculpture across the road from him which is a maiden. The Indian keeps silent the whole time the two stare at one another. One day the maiden is bought up; packed up; and taken away. This leaves Kaw-Liga broken-hearted over the one that got away. A message that a lot of us strong, silent, “wooden head” types can relate.

Though I’ve only picked out two of the eleven songs on the album to make note of, there isn’t a bad note in the other 9. McCoy gives us a cover of classics that a pleasure to listen to and something of which Charlie Pride and Neal McCoy can both be very proud.

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