In this week's episode we're featuring the debut full-length album for Texan Summer Dean: "Bad Romantic" (2021). Born in Clay County, Texas and country as a dirt clod, there's been a lot of living in the three or more years between Dean's first EP "Unladylike" in 2016 and "Bad Romantic": growing comfortable in herself and her situation served as inspiration for many of the album's tracks (six of which Dean wrote or co-wrote). Seems to this reviewer that the first half of the LP could have been done in consultation with Waylon and Haggard, and Dean's Texas dancehall roots are showing on the second; Jess Meador's rising fiddle intro from "Hey Mister" recalls in no uncertain terms the very best of Johnny's Bush's material. Well chosen covers from modern day songsmiths Simon Flory and Brennen Leigh match beautifully with contributions from Leona Williams and Linda Hargrove, all tied together with Dean's vocal, wonderfully worn around the edges: honest and working class. A sterling shuffle in "Three Timin' Game" follows on from "Distracted" (dripping in co-producer Kevin Skrla's steel) and Hargrove's "Blue Jean Country Queen" seems to fit Dean like a glove. Summer Dean fills a gap in the greater roots music scene nationwide with "Bad Romantic": a lack of good ol' hardcore Texas country music, heavy on the attitude, fiddle and steel. And I'm sure glad about it.
Summer Dean - Bad Romantic