Biography by David Jeffries
Country singer Buddy Jewell's meteoric rise caused him to be tagged an "overnight sensation," but looking back at his ten years in Nashville obscurity, Jewell considers himself a modern-day Rip Van Winkle. A native of Arkansas, Jewell's earliest musical memories are staring into his parents' radio lookin...(展开全部) from www.allmusic.com
Biography by David Jeffries
Country singer Buddy Jewell's meteoric rise caused him to be tagged an "overnight sensation," but looking back at his ten years in Nashville obscurity, Jewell considers himself a modern-day Rip Van Winkle. A native of Arkansas, Jewell's earliest musical memories are staring into his parents' radio looking for the "little people" that he thought were living inside. Years later he bought a guitar for ten dollars from a schoolmate and purchased some instructional books with the money he earned bagging groceries. By age 21 he decided he wanted to be a singer and headed to Camden, AR, to join the band White Oak. Four years of touring with the unsigned band was enough and Jewell moved to Dallas, TX, to star in a gunfight show at the Six Flags theme park.
Entering a singing contest sponsored by the group Alabama landed him an opening slot for the band and enough inspiration to move to country music's capitol, Nashville, in 1993. By 1995 he started a job as a demo singer and recorded over 4,000 songs by writers who hoped to have their material cut by Nashville's greatest (some of the songs ended up being recorded by George Strait, Trace Adkins, and others). In 1998 he appeared on Bill Engvall's "I'm a Cowboy" single and in 2002 he sang backup on Ray Price's album Time. Things changed rapidly in 2003. On May 3 of that year, Jewell became the winner on country's answer to American Idol, Nashville Star. By May 5 the "Help Pour Out the Rain (Lacey's Song)" single was delivered to radio and on May 17 he was performing at the Grand Old Opry. On July 1 Columbia issued his self-titled debut album with superstar Clint Black in the producer's chair.
Review by William Ruhlmann
Buddy Jewell kicked around Texas roadhouses from his teens to his early thirties, then kicked around Nashville until his early forties, supporting himself as a demo singer, until the "reality series" (read: amateur contest) Nashville Star gave him by popular acclamation what the country music industry had denied him, a recording contract. While the TV voters are to be commended for forcing something that would otherwise never occur in Nashville, the first-time signing of a middle-aged debut artist, on his first album Jewell sounds just like what he is, a demo singer. That is to say, he is both thoroughly competent to sing the formula country songs that have been rounded up for him (three of which even feature his name in the songwriting credits) and thoroughly anonymous. Like a good demo singer, he gets across the points the songs have to make in their lyrics, with their clichéd words and hackneyed situations, but in doing so, he evokes every singing hat of the past 20 years, the kind of male singers who used to be the recipients of the songwriting demos on which he performed. Jewell may not be any less talented than those stars who achieved fame by more conventional means, but he is no more talented, either. Of course, it would take exceptional talent to put across the bland material here, and Jewell himself is one of the main offenders, alone contributing the leadoff single, "Help Pour Out the Rain (Lacey's Song)," one of those insufferable "inspirational" country songs in which the Christian God comes off like a combination of the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. Maybe that's what made two million TV viewers vote Jewell a "Nashville Star," but it simply adds one more headpiece to country's hatrack of mediocrity.