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Paul Lagendyk Paul Lagendyk
Album: Shiny Rails to Nowhere
Label: Self Released
Tracks: 10

Nu skool music row country, from a new name to me, the genre is really finding a rich vein, almost despite itself; Simpson, Outlaw, Isbell etc. This is a record of sawn off t-shirt, pick-up driving, blue collar country, muscular, of the sort pedalled by Eric Church. Its good tunes about good times, pop the top off a cold one country. Don't be think this is pop tosh, its good stuff, done well, and has a doffed (ball) cap to Waylon, Paisley, and a bit of Daniels thrown in.

Album favourite, track two has a great line, which couldn't be more apt, wonderful proper country flourishes, twangy guitar, juicy banjo picking and chipper fiddle - plus it should be on every bit of merch Lagendyk sells - "I've got steel toes and a hard hat, but a soft heart". It's an album full of tunes that could be rerecorded by any number of big names for their own records - it sounds like a retrospective, a greatest hits, like 20 years of troubling the charts!

'Your Perfume' is a Jamey Johnson style barroom shuffler, either George, Jones or Strait would be proud of. An old fashioned tearjerker, a sad sad lyric that will leave even the stone hearted sniffling. 'Wishing Well' a vocal duet, I've no idea who with - it doesn't say, is a real wonder. But the up tempo stuff is where he really sparkles, especially when backed with some swirly whirly organ, and the themes are drinking, obviously.

The title track is a butch slice of Americana, Rodney Crowell or similar, but most of all it's a simple record; chilly heartbreakers, good time beer drinkers, dark places, nights searching the soul - all are here, this is a record for those who favour a pearl snap shirt and the taste of salty tears in their whisky. Brilliant.

Rudie Humphrey

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