It's a long way from Lubbock to Nashville, but Wade Bowen has made the trip with integrity and roots unharmed. His latest, Lost Hotel, is country with a bluesy, rebel spirit, rural music about simple concerns that is never condescending. "God Bless This Town," the leadoff single, is a hit despite the fact that it steers clear of the perfunctory Nashville clichés and instead concerns itself with justifiable community pride. "Walkin' Along the Fenceline," like Charlie Rich's "Sittin' and Thinkin'," is as thorough an examination of candid, rustic mannerisms as country has seen this decade. Bowen injects just enough disheveled hooliganism (a la Steve Earle) into the losers and weepers of Lost Hotel to escape the innate triteness of Pat Green or mulish jingoism of Toby Keith.
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