As a backroads country outlaw and a soulful modern gentleman altogether, Hobbs makes a compelling case.
If Travis Linville is an up-and-coming Americana artist that takes the country bull by the horns with the sentimental grace of torch songs like “He Stopped Loving Her Today”, AJ Hobbs is a regular “Honky Tonk Man”. Hobbs is someone who comes into his first full-length record with a real jive to his step, looking to get his listeners up and dancing like the latest mainstream country anthems. That much is evident with the way he comes roaring in, looking for a party, with the titular opening track, “Too Much Is Never Enough”, right out of the gate, but thankfully, that’s not where the buck stops with Hobbs’ appeal.
He assures his listeners in his ability to write and interpret country music the way it was meant to be heard, evidently, all at once, as a backroads-country outlaw and a soulful modern gentleman altogether. Like Luke Bell’s full-length debut before his, Hobbs asserts himself as more vocally assured on vivacious ragtime symphonies like the aforementioned title track and “Are You Going to Tennessee”, but even still, one would not be in the wrong to check out Hobbs’ Too Much Is Never Enough. It’s a first effort at an LP just about as warm and earthen as it is smooth and emotionally compelling.