Country Music People December 2018 - Page 40

albumreviews STRYKER BROTHERS Burn Band  Charlie Duke Took Country Music To The Moon / Wrong Time / Rocking Chair / Quiet Town / Balmorhea / Throwing Shade / Blue Today Baby / Ain’t Gonna Rain No More / Ft Worth Was a Fabulous Waste Of Time / What Have You Got To Win / The Bottle / Sinner Man / Charlie Duke (auctor Continuum) Producer: Lloyd Maines Thirty Tigers 51:59 40 cmp - DECEMBER 2018 Released in September in a flurry of publicity this is the debut album from siblings Flynt and Cole Stryker, produced by Lloyd Maines a respected country producer and musician in his own right as well as being Dad to a Dixie Chick. However if you look more closely at the album title, the family name and the fact that in some publicity material one of the brothers has his name spelt as Coal, you may begin to realise all is not as it seems. I absolutely love the opening track, it is pure country music wrapped around a true story and interlaced with actual recordings relevant to that story. Charles Duke was an astronaut on the Apollo 16 mission and the tenth man to set foot on the moon; he had asked a Houston DJ to put together a country mix tape so he could listen to it in flight (presumably Apollo ran the same no frills policy as Ryanair). That DJ managed to get a number of country stars of the time to add little personal messages to the tape which, listening now, make it incredibly endearing. Duke lives in the same street as Randy Rogers who is a Stryker Brother – the other one is Robert Earl Keen. The project is a highly elaborate spoof with a number of other well known musicians adding to the original mystery with press quotes about “the brothers”, and a one-off Stryker Brothers show planned for December 22nd in Austin TX. So elaborately has this tale been woven it is difficult to be sure how seriously to take some of the other tracks. Certainly the lyric to Wrong Time could be construed as a comment about how music such as this doesn’t fit today’s market, and please tell me Balmorhea is a dig at some of the awful lyrics currently hogging the charts under the guise of country music. Maybe Charlie Duke left real country music up there. It’s a clever project, and it is a very good album; stand out tracks for me were Ain’t Gonna Rain No More, the delightfully melancholic The Bottle and both Charlie Duke tracks (the second one has more of the tapes which went to the moon). For many of the newer British country fans it may be too clever for its own good, but the more discerning will appreciate. Chris Smith