(Editor’s note: I moved from an apartment into a house starting January 1st, 2020, and I had to toss all my CDs into a big garbage bag during the move. The idea for this feature is I write a review about each CD as I unpack that bag, one CD at a time, and rank them.)
The Twelfth CD Out of the Bag
1. The Right Place; 2. Long on Love; 3. Whatever Made You Change Your Mind; 4. The Lost and Found; 5. Me, Myself and I; 6. Just to Spend the Night with You; 7. (I’m Gonna) Love, Love, Love You; 8. Someone Else’s Problem; 9. Play Me the Waltz of the Angels; 10. Then She Kissed Me; 11. Longing; 12. Hold on Fool Heart; 13. Knee Deep in the Blues.
Released in April 2007, Full Western Dress is a jukebox lover’s dream. Steeped in tradition, Full Western Dress is a neo-honkytonk package of Buck Owens-inspired Bakersfield country delivered with energy, passion, and a sense of humor. The Orbisonesque vocals of Tony Villanueva devastate on lonesome weepers “Me, Myself and I” and “Longing.” They’re equally captivating on midtempo tracks “Long on Love,” “The Lost and Found,” and “Hold on Fool Heart.” The Derailers breeze through covers of The Crystals’ “Then She Kissed Me” and Marty Robbins’ “Knee Deep in the Blues.” The gorgeous but sad “Play Me the Waltz of the Angels” is elevated to classic status by the heartfelt addition of Buck Owens’ weathered voice to the song. With the harmonies of Villanueva and Brian Hofeldt as tight as ever, Full Western Dress is a pure Country and Western album that deserves a slot on every jukebox in Texas.
My favorite song
I love the music of Roy Orbison, and Villanueva absolutely channels the legend on “Longing.” The song’s narrator sings about missing someone so much that his only respite is within the sweet dreams of sleep. Lyrics like “once more I awake, my heart starts to break” capture the epic loneliness in such a simple but powerfully poetic way. At the halfway mark, a crying fiddle beautifully punctuates the sadness like the soundtrack to a crippling heartbreak. Like Orbison’s “Crying,” “Longing” boldly surrenders to its emotions, admittedly helpless against the teardrops.
My favorite lines of my favorite song
I never ask why
When I start to cry.