Ever since I moved to Nashville, and truth be known even before I did, I have admired and marveled at a common trait found without exception in songwriters who hail from Texas--it is the effortless ability to speak to the listener in an unobscured, unfiltered and unfettered manner so that you never have to ask what they were talking about--just listen--they told you. it is an innate talent to tell you what you already know in such a way that you can't help but want to hear it again. It is nothing less than the poetry of purity.
No surprise then that "The Outlaw In Me" by Mike Mahaffey. Texan, offers up a collection of songs that display this purity in full form with a production that is wonderfully understated--the rare combination where nothing is said that didn't need to be, and there's no gratuitous accompaniment that only serves to get in the way of the song. And there are songs here that are at once far-reaching and yet immediately accessible in true Lone Star tradition: Standing Still could have fallen off of a Billy Joe Shaver album; Julianna is as pure as a Kristofferson gem; and the dark Nothing's New would work on a James McMurtry collection. And the title track made me squirm with unease because its bare-boned honesty doesn't leave you anywhere to hide.
What is it with these Texans? Well, whatever it is, I'm mighty glad they have it, and so grateful that they share it with the rest of us. Thank you, Moose, for staying true to a wonderful tradition with your offering.
Mike Mahaffey’s, “The Outlaw In Me” is a CD that feels good just holding it in your hand. Kinda like the feeling you get when holding your granddads old pocketknife and thinking to yourself... “if only these old rusty blades could talk”. Well, this cd does more than rest easy in your hands and evoke fond memories… it communicates life in the form of real songs, with real emotions about real people. If you’re looking for honesty, then this collection of Mike’s finest will warm your heart and feed your soul. It might even have you dancin’ cross the kitchen floor in your socks with a big grin on your face.
In true Texas tradition Mike writes and sings songs that are poetic yet grounded in the soil of the common man. His songs leave you a little better off than when they found you… because they give you something… and that “something”, is the heart of a good man.
February 2nd, 2011
Well then if I'd known earlier you were this good I might have brought my considerable showbiz influence to bear and saved you a life of drudgery in the rag trade.
Chet told me long ago that everyone "makes it" by a different route. And when you have the good will and respect of friends and a gift and passion for words and music like this .....then you have indeed "made it". Good job buddy!
Best, dc (David Conrad--Longtime head of Almo Irving Music Nashville)