There’s a lot of great music coming out of the Texas/Red Dirt Scene these days, but many of the artists lean heavily towards either country (Aaron Watson), rock (Cross Canadian Ragweed), pop (Eli Young Band) or blues (Stoney LaRue). Houston native Bo Cox seems to combine several elements of these various genres into his 10-song album, “Rich Man’s Gold.” Cox’s family owned an Opry house in the Houston area, so it’s no surprise that the singer-songwriter found such versatility in music.
The album is produced by Texas/Red Dirt giant Mike McClure, who also plays guitar on it. But it’s fellow guitarist Travis Linville’s 54-second guitar intro that sets the tone for an album that’s soaked with deep, self-reflective lyrics about hopes, dreams and failed relationships. Three songs stand out amid this impressive pack – “Winter”, in which Cox reflects poorly on the season because it happened to be the time of year when his girlfriend broke up with him. “Burning You” is all about putting a relationship in the past and moving on; a fiddle-soaked introduction – and plenty of it throughout the song – should help drown any of that remaining pain. And then there’s the title track with its rocking guitar intro. It feels like it would right in with an 80’s hair band, in a good way.
There’s no shortage of fiddle on “Carousel”, which compares the carnival ride to the singer’s life with lots of doubles entendres. “Send Me An Angel”, a bluesy number, has the sound of a desperate man praying to God so his troubles will be eased. Then, there’s the twangy-rock of “Coming Down” where Cox’s vocals show a little bit of a Tom Petty influence while “Everyday” wouldn’t be out of place on a John Mellencamp album. Fans of traditional country would probably favor “Talkin’ With The Devil”, the album’s most traditional song with an element of country swing incorporated into it. With a sparse 10 track album Bo Cox has managed to touch on all of the basic American genres. If you’re a fan of all of these genres, you’re sure to love “Rich Man’s Gold.”