Love Hard Core Country Music? These Two Albums Belong In Your collection.

George Ducas: George Ducas

Released in September 1994, George Ducas’ eponymous debut is perhaps the most criminally overlooked release of the ’90s. The ten track collection is one of those rare albums where every song is a potential single. From the opening strains of the foot-shuffling “Teardrops,” a brilliant take on an aching heart, to the final notes of the guitar grinding “It Ain’t Me,” a Dwight Yoakam-esque number, George Ducas is solid front to back.

Whether he’s bleeding from the heart, on the top 10 hit “Lipstick Promises,” or drowning in a pool of misery, on “Hello Cruel World,” Ducas nails every song like it’s the last one he’ll ever get to sing. Unfortunately for the Texas singer he was on the same label as Garth Brooks, which meant he got lost in the promotional shuffle. George Ducas should be one the top-selling albums of the ‘90s instead of a lost treasure. Thankfully, the disc lives on in the digital world.

Kevin Denney: Kevin Denney

Released in April 2002, Kentucky native Kevin Denney’s self-titled debut featured the top 20 single “That’s Just Jessie,” a song that owed a serious debt to hardcore country artists like George Strait, George Jones and Keith Whitley. It was Whitley, in fact, whom Denney emulated vocally (to great effect) on much of his debut.

With singles like the funny bone tickling “Cadillac Tears,” and the weeping “It’ll Go Away,” both of which failed to break beyond the top 30, along with cuts like the honky tonk leaning “Correct Me If I’m Right” and the nostalgic “Daddy Was A Navy Man,” Kevin Denney was easily one of the best country albums released in 2002.

Whether it was bad timing or a lack of promotion, the album slipped through the cracks. Denney reportedly recorded a sophomore disc, but his label, the now defunct Lyric Street Records in Nashville, never released it. The singer-songwriter has since gone on to have his songs recorded by the likes of Craig Morgan and Easton Corbin. Like the Ducas record, Kevin Denney lives on in the digital world.