If you like your country music steeped in the sound of Bakersfield and honky-tonk that reeks with the aroma of beer and sawdust rathe than hair mousse and celebrity fragrances then San Luis Obispo California’s Red Eye Junction’s second release In The Shadows might be your cup of shine. The ghosts of Lefty Frizzell, Buck Owens and Hank Williams Sr. haunt every groove of this fine release. Featuring songs that appear deceptively simple that on closer listen manifest a musical craftsmanship reverent for music made for Saturday-night sinning and Sunday-morning salvation.
Red Eye Junction features a crackerjack band on this release as led by the Benevolent Dr. Cain (as he is billed) who possesses a high-lonesome keen only at home in country music, and most associated with Bill Monroe, Hank Williams Sr. and Jimmy Dale Gilmour, and Jackpot Jonny Clarke who can pick slicker than a greased pig on a July night.
Tonight is a boot-skootin‘ tunes about good times and good lovin‘. These Five Strings and Gone Again are boudoir bawlers that feature pedal Steel by master Tommy Butler and Talk of the Town and Home Ain’t So Sweet are cheating (and potentially murder) songs featuring Jonny Clarke on slightly gruffed vocals and Greg Clarke’s fine fiddle work. A stand out for me is the title cut, an simmering atmospheric minor-chord lament with Buck Dylan’s midnight train harmonica. Anytown is a rollicking road song praising small town life and Two Part Blue features both Dr. Cain and Jonny Clarke sharing vocals on this light-hearted barroom confessional.
Pick up In The Shadow, crack open a brew and celebrate the enduring spirit of country music.
“It’s All Over” – Red Eye Junction (from thier first release “Outlaws And Heroes”)