Review: ‘A Better Word For Love’ – Ronnie Milsap

Ronnie Milsap
A Better Word For Love
Black River Entertainment

The album opens with the foot-tappingly good Honky Tonk tune Big Bertha which sees Milsap team up with Vince Gill for the song written by Carl Perkins, DJ Perkins and Randy Moore. Milsap received the special package from Carl Perkins’ widow, containing the last song the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer ever wrote. She knew Milsap would do it justice and Milsap knew Vince Gill was the man to collaborate with on the song about a Golf Club.

The stand out track for me on this record is the Brent Maher, Allen Shamblin, Mike Reid penned This Side Of Heaven. The love song is beautifully executed by Milsap and the backing vocals in the chorus give it a slightly different dimension. The live rendition of Civil War which was actually recorded in 1993 is a real treat and has never been so timely. The song which begins with the light hearted theme of young siblings arguing and likening it to a civil war has a deeper message as it dives into political divides. The grit, power and passion in Milsap’s vocals is truly inspiring and its a welcome addition to the record. The production and again Milspa’s vocals, which have never been better, match the theme of the explosive Fireworks as the instrumental break down allows an unusual relationship to form between a horn section and pedal steel.

To summarise Milsap brings the party with this upbeat, rocking record which feels like it’s come straight out of the honky tonk. The all-star line-up of songwriters coupled with Milsap’s fiery delivery brings this record to life.

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Editor, Maverick Magazine

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