Label: Dinner Time
When a few friends offered to make a debut record on him, Nashville songwriter Aaron Raitiere simply agreed to go along with it. In the four years since that first session for what would become Single Wide Dreamer, the auspicious project has retained its casual charm even as its guest list gradually expanded. Anderson East and Miranda Lambert, who co-produced the album, now appear alongside Nashville musicians like Dave Cobb, Natalie Hemby, Ashley Monroe, and Waylon Payne, as well as Robert Randolph, Foy Vance, and Bob Weir. With a laid-back, speak-singing delivery, “Single Wide Dreamer” immediately conveys Raitiere’s contentment in living a low-key life. And although every song on the album could be considered a love song in its own way, what really ties them together is his observant writing, which is sometimes reflective, sometimes irreverent, but always inspired by his own experiences. For example, “Your Daddy Hates Me” invokes a girlfriend from when he was 18, while “Dear Darlin’” isa searing (and sort of funny) letter to an ex. By focusing on everyday pleasures like sleepy old dogs and ice cold beer, an optimistic tone elevates "For the Birds," a feel-good tune he wrote with Lambert (who has also recorded a version of it). And even when he's ruminating on life's inevitable conclusion in "Time Will Fly," a listener can gather from "Everybody Else" that Raitiere is going to have the most fun he possibly can in the meantime. “These are stories about me. It’s all true,” he says. “It sounds a little different, and I’m shooting more for the storyteller thing than the singer thing, because that’s more what I am."