Review: Bobby Dove – Hopeless Romantic


Bobby Dove - Hopeless Romantic

Bobby Dove – Hopeless Romantic
Format: CD – Vinyl LP – Digital / Label: Continental Record Services
Release: 2022

Tekst: Bert van Kessel

Bobby Dove may be held responsible for the amazing upsurge of traditional country music in her homeland Canada. I was going to say single-handedly, but some of the credits should go to the wonderful team that she has gathered around her.

She is supported by the cream of the crops of the Canadian music scene, including Blue Rodeo members  Jim Cuddy, Jimmy Bowskill and Bazil Donovan, who produced this sophomore album. A most dominant role is played by pedal steel guitarists Dan Russell, her familiar sidekick, and Burke Carroll, from Kathleen Edwards’ band. Everything fits perfectly on this wonderful country album: great songs, excellent musicianship and a convincing voice with the necessary sob in it and even the appropriate southern drawl.

Starting out as a cowpunk performer Bobby has always kept listening to honky tonk music, especially to her idols George Jones and Dolly Parton. It’s great to hear she’s on a par with them here. The true strength of traditional country music lies in the honesty and conviction of its delivery and Bobby Dove is definitely a winner in that respect

Straight from the opening title track it is clear that there is authenticity and truth in every note. Driven on by a great pedal steel Bobby presents her calling card ‘Hopeless Romantic’ and these 11 songs are living proof of that.

Although it’s difficult to select individual highlights, these tracks do stand out for me: Chance In Hell is a beautiful traditional country duet that is sung by Bobby and Jim Cuddy. My World’s Getting Smaller is as heartbreaking as they come.

Early Morning Funeral is Bobby’s successful effort at writing a song in the vein of John Prine and on El Hormiguero ( The Ants’ Nest) she follows in the footsteps of the legendary Tish Hinojosa.

The two closing tracks, Golden Years and New Endings, New Beginnings are delivered with an emotional depth that is reminiscent of Mary Gauthier, who has repeatedly expressed her admiration for Bobby Dove’s work.

This is a wonderful album, chockfull of pure traditional country music, delivered with amazing craftsmanship. As one renowned music journalist might have put it: ”I have seen the future of country music and its name is Bobby Dove!”

01. Hopeless Romantic
02. Sometimes It’s a Lonely Road
03. Gas Station Blues
04. Chance in Hell (Feat. Jim Cuddy)
05. My World’s Getting Smaller
06. Haunted Hotel
07. Like It or Not I Love You
08. El Hormiguero
09. Early Morning Funeral
10. Golden Years
11. New Endings New Beginnings