The Deal: Former Sound of Mine and Black Market Radio frontman releases solo debut.
The Good: The Charlotte native's vocals and songs are reminiscent of John Mellencamp's early days. He works with a handful of Carolina talent including Jamie Hoover, Mark Stallings, Audley Freed, Andy Seets, Don Dixon and Jim Brock. He's got a comfortable, laid-back style that draws the listener in and takes them along for a backroads journey. It's not breaking any new ground musically, but it's more of a showcase for his solid vocal abilities and songwriting talent. "Lazy Afternoon" is one of those kick-off-your-shoes, not-a-care-in-the-world, sit-back-and-relax tracks that's destined for front porch listening or the soundtrack to a weekend barbecue. It's a little more upbeat than other tracks on the album, but that's not to take away from the others. The slow ramblers that are characteristic of Wheels are some of its most enjoyable.
The Bad: No complaints. Usually I'd complain about a CD only having nine songs, but this is a solid effort in its entirety.
The Verdict: While the album leans toward the country, it's got some good rock soul to it. I haven't added many local indies to my iPod yet, but Sims is sure to be one of them. He'll be performing at the Double Door Inn on July 21.