Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Mel McDaniel With Oklahoma Wind [extended]

  • Mel McDaniel With Oklahoma Wind [Capitol, 1984] B
  • Just Can't Sit Down Music [Capitol, 1987] B
  • Greatest Hits [Capitol, 1987] B+

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Consumer Guide Reviews:

Mel McDaniel With Oklahoma Wind [Capitol, 1984]
A rugged old pro who's hewed a path between outlaw grease and countrypolitan silicone, McDaniel here enters a Nashville studio with his road band, a mild act of defiance that produces an album sensible folks can listen to clean through without Bromo-Seltzer--though the overly tough-minded may want to keep a Tum or two at hand. B

Mel McDaniel: Just Can't Sit Down Music [Capitol, 1987]
With his best material--not commercially, but critically, a concept that doesn't cut much vinyl down in Nashville--slotted three and four on each side, McDaniel remains a notably decent artist caught between his druthers and his a&r man. So be glad the album's gem, "Stand on It" (composer credit: "B. Springsteen"), did eventually make some noise as a single--albeit not enough to qualify for the best-of that followed it into the racks. B

Mel McDaniel: Greatest Hits [Capitol, 1987]
McDaniel's marginal distinction doesn't depend on the marginal cleverness of songsmiths, but if his hits don't equal his high points, they're not his low points either. "Hello Daddy, Good Morning Darling" is a heart-tugger that would work for anybody from Ronnie Milsap to George Strait, but his commercial specialty is the mild raunch of "Louisiana Saturday Night," "Baby's Got Her Blue Jeans On," and "Stand Up," where he invites all the mild raunch fans to testify and tempts non-believers to forgive "Do You Want to Say Goodbye." B+