The Austin Chronicle

Texas Platters

Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, July 6, 2007, Music

Rodney Hayden

Down the Road (Palomino)

Pleasanton, Texas, native Rodney Hayden possesses a voice made for singing country. With his ability to write gushing ballads, hard-charging rockers, and unadulterated honky-tonk, it's bewildering more people don't know his name. Yet the 27-year-old remains unfamiliar to all but those attuned to so-called Texas music. Down the Road, his third album, might change that. A solid effort moving past Hayden's previously more traditionalist stance, it blends in with the likes of Pat Green, the obvious influence on "Silverado Boys." There's also a nod to Doug Sahm on the Tex-Mex flavored "Nuevo Laredo" and a righteous ramble in "I'll Ride Again," a Robert Earl Keen ringer. A two-stepping duet with Sunny Sweeney ("These Arms") is a keeper. Hayden has traveled Down the Road; now it's time to break away from the herd.


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