In a time of sobriety the alt-country Memphis rockers bring us a round and and takes us back to the rowdy old days.
There was a time, in the early 90s, when if you swung a car youâ€™d hit a country influenced rock band. Local hers Slobberbone and the Old 97s as well as the underground kings, Uncle Tupelo. The Drive-By Truckers developed in their wake and MTV brought Lone Justice, The Georgia Satellites and Jason and the Scorchers into unsuspecting suburban households. Dwight Yoakum moved from the L.A. underground to start a neo-trad movement as he and his skin tight jeans took off into stardom.
These days, unfortunately, alt.country bands are as rare as henâ€™s teeth. Well, good ones anyway.
Stalwarts of the genre Luceros dirty dozenth release blasts out of the shoot with Roy Berry beating his cowbell like a rented mule. Brian Venable rips into his guitar then pulls back into a tasteful melody and Rick Steff tickles the ivories with an E. Street wide throttle. Vocalist Ben Nichols has had enough of a bar fly buzzing around his whiskey. â€œIt wasnâ€™t like I came here thinking, â€˜Man, this bar is great to drink inâ€™,â€ Nichols declares in his familiar velvet-gravel voice, â€œItâ€™s one more â€˜fuck you,â€™ thatâ€™s it and Iâ€™m gone.â€
The redneck rave-up â€œMacon If We Make Itâ€ is about waiting out a gale force in some Florida bar while reminiscing about another Gail forcing herself into his mind.
â€œThe bar starts to sink
And all my ears do is ring
I heard you crying
All I hear’s wind howling nowâ€
â€œAt the Show,â€ is Nichols reflecting back on life as well as the audience as he puts himself in their boots. All the while hoping that a certain young lady will come around and hear his song heâ€™s written just for her.
â€œNothing’s Alrightâ€ is an epic heart buster that could easily bring a tear to even the hardest soul.
â€œBut I don’t think about her anymore
The way she looked when she walked through the door
We all fell hopelessly in love
Now I don’t think about her muchâ€
Lucero has dicked around with horns and blues scales recently, which Iâ€™d all fine and good. But this is the band at their best. Lean songs for troubled times. Simple love and a fistfight between friends.
And whiskey all around. God bless alt.country and Lucero.