This Is My Blood
Label: Warner Records
Bon Jovi's working-class grit settles all over this Nashville country-rock band's debut. That's a compliment. These raucous, pedal-steel-and-distortion-pedal anthems highlight both economic and romantic scarcity -- how both your buddy getting a part-time job and your girl sleeping with your best friend are proof that there's "Always a Reason" to drink. Willie Nelson briefly and bizarrely cameos; the title track and the shuffling blue-collar credo "Name on My Shirt" hit hardest, and closest to home: "Punchin' clocks/ Raisin' kids/ It's all there is in all these towns."