Jack Ingram, "Big Dreams & High Hopes"

77 Billboard Rating

Jack Ingram has graduated from the Texas circuit to the country mainstream in fine fashion, and his appropriately titled new release, "Big Dreams & High Hopes," will only help his star rise higher. Current chart-climbing single "Barefoot and Crazy" is already lighting up request lines and dancefloors, while the song "King of Wasted Time" paints a picture of desperation not easily forgotten. Other highlights include "Free," which finds Ingram echoing the best work of Glen Campbell, and his expressive vocals shine through on the stripped-down title cut. Ingram may be good on his own, but Patty Griffin's sweet harmonies on the enchanting "Seeing Stars" and Dierks Bentley's growls on Ingram's live classic "Barbie Doll" are welcome additions. On the latter tune, Little Big Town, The Lost Trailers, James Otto and Randy Houser make a fitting barroom choir. --Ken Tucker