I kind of wonder when Mark Utley sleeps. In addition to releasing an album with his band, Magnolia Mountain, earlier this year, he also recorded a solo album that debuted at around the same time. Four Chords and a Lie features many members of Magnolia Mountain. Those of you keeping score at home may remember that I was a little underwhelmed by Beloved. I'm happy to say that it looks like all of the good mojo that went into Magnolia Mountain's most recent album was channeled into Four Chords and a Lie.
Four Chords and a Lie is more solidly country than any of the other subgenres Utley likes to draw upon. All ten of these songs feature a charm and confidence that's downright persuasive. "Not All Right Together" makes me want to make a bad decision, and "Little Black Dress" presents a very solid case for why bad decisions are often good ideas. The mellower songs, like "Blackbird on a Wire," add enough poise to the album to keep it from becoming sleazy. Four Chords and a Lie came out over the summer -- if you haven't had a chance yet, you should pounce on it now.
UPDATED: I kept confusing Beloved with Magnolia Mountain's third album, Town and Country. I was corrected by Mr. Utley himself!
Mark Utley -- Official, Facebook, Bandcamp, This Is American Music