Any good bar band worth their salt knows that, if they want to bring in the crowds and keep them there, they have to play something for everyone. It's a dictum the Seattle 8-piece take to heart on their third studio album which runs the gamut of heartland Americana, from saloon twang (Grizzly Bear Billboard) and tear and steel stained waltzes ('Only Here Long Enough To Leave') to Texicana line dance party stomps (The Mavericks-like 'Reason I'm Drinking' and the accordion wheezing 'Bar Time') and dirty blues (the organ-fuelled 'Friday is My Friday', which even has an Eastern sitar like intro). There's some jazzy swing with 'One Farewell', a foray into zyedco with 'Holding Out', ramshackle hillbilly piano boogie 'Autograph' (which reminds me of the early loose limbed stoner Dr Hook and the Medicine Show numbers , while Johnny Cash gets a stylistic check with the chugging intro of the goodtime 'Laundromat', which sports the line "you don't have to drive me crazy, darling, I'm close enough to walk." You'll likely also gear Merle, George and the Louvins in the mix too.
It goes without saying that the lyrics mostly tend to concern either drinking or women, the staple reasons that pay the rent for most honky tonks. None of their songs are going to make any hall of fame, but, taken with a cold beer or a warming shot and played with enthusiasm and ramshackle charm, the band will send you home in a sweaty, boozy haze, feeling like you've had a great night out, whether nursing a heartbreak or a heart aflame. And that's what a good bar band does. Pucker up.
|Faustus: Death And Other Animals||Alex Cumming and Nicola Beazley: Across The Water|
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