Review – The Weight – The Weight Are Men (The Colonel Records)

The Weight are a Brooklyn, NY based country rock band that, in spite of it’s North-Eastern local, delivers the Southern-fried goods. The band was beget by singer/songwriter and veteran of the Atlanta, GA, punk rock scene Joseph Plunket who began dabbled in country music and recorded several EPs and one long-player with a revolving cast of musicians as he tapped his inner hillbilly.

Now blessed with a stable and top-notch line up Plunket, along with Fletcher “Poor Boy” Johnson on guitar, piano, and harmonica, Will Noland on bass, Jay Ellis on drums and Johnny Carpenter on pedal steel, has recorded an album of shear authentic and audacious country-rock, stripped clean of post-whatever and 100% free of ironic smugness. Imagine as the 60’s came to a close that back off in the woods of Saugerties, NY the Band had hung out with Gram Parsons instead of Dylan cutting tracks in the basement of Big Pink, that alternate history it might have sounded something like this.

The Weight’s newest release “The Weight Are Men” kicks off with a gentle strumming of “Like Me Better,” a bittersweet barroom testament to love gone wrong delivered by Plunket in his earnestly gruff vocal style. The highway rave-up “Had It Made” follows with its Southern boogie roots planted firmly in Chuck Berry’s territory.

“Johnny’s Song” is a lulling tune on life and love that builds to a big singalong finale and “Talkin” is a tune taken right from the Neil Young book of groove-roots compositions (complete with yawning harmonica) and offers one of my favorite lines from the album – “Give me a lady and rent control, it might take one, it might take both, to satisfy my soul.”

“Sunday Driver”  is reminiscent of the best of The Band’s bittersweet compositions. It’s a slow-moving, pedal-steel laced gem that really showcases Plunket’s voice. “Hillbilly Highway” is a traveling man’s fiddle-laced yearn to come back to his love that should be on mainstream country radio (it won’t be, mainstream country is too rigid and short-sighted.) “A Day In The Sun” is a harmonica fueled Southern boogie gives a the release a woozy “Sticky Fingers” send off.

Bottom line, “The Weight Are Men” is one of the best roots-rock releases of 2008.

The Weight – Had It Made (mp3)

Rodney Parker & 50 Peso Reward – CD Release Party – Granada Theater – Dallas (3/28)

No mater how much time I spend looking over this great land of ours (and others) looking for great music something is bound to slip my gaze. I try to make up for it later and I’m about to make amends for not knowing about Denton, Texas’ Rodney Parker & 50 Peso Reward sooner then I have.

I will be reviewing their new release. “The Lonesome Dirge” (Label Name – release 4/8) soon but if you find yourself near my hometown this evening haul your ass to the Dallas’ Granada Theater to catch RP50PR CD release party and enjoy some a stiff shot of rock goodness.

If you can’t make it to the show “The Fine Line” will be webcasting the show live tonight.

Rodney Parker & 50 Peso Reward – Rodney Parker “200 Acres”


Poco Drummer Fundraiser

George Grantham, drummer, vocalist and founding member of the seminal 70’s West Coast country-rock band Poco  (“Crazy Love,”  “Heart of the Night”), recently suffered a severe stroke.  The stroke took him off the road permanently–making him incapable of enjoying or continuing his music career.

John McEuen from the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Timothy Schmit, Kentucky Headhunters, Scotty Moore, Steve Wariner, DJ Fontana, Don Henley, Richie Furay, Chris Hillman, Graham Nash, the band Orleans ands others have all joined Grantham’s daughter Gracie to begin a campaign Putting Heads Together to raise money for her father by contributing items for an eBay auction and to establish a fund to pay for George’s medical and living expenses.

For the latest news, to donate cash, something to sell or want to buy something from the auction visit the Putting Heads Together  site.