Country Music People May 2019 - Page 32

albumreviews LOCASH Brothers ROBBIE WALDEN BAND When The Rooster Crows   One Big Country Song / How Much Time You Got / Brothers / Summer In A Truck / God Thing / It’s Only Midnight / Feels Like A Party / Secret Weapon / Cold Beer Kinda Night / Kissing A Girl / Beers To Catch Up On Producers: Tyler Hubbard, Lindsay Rimes, Corey Crowder & Jordan Schmidt Wheelhouse / Broken Bow 33:25 50 Years Too Late / Dark Days / Chains and Shackles / Thank God For You / I’m To Blame / Wild Horses / Take Me Back / When The Rooster Crows / Falling Again, In Love / How Long It Takes / Spokane’s Calling You / That’s How I Start My Day / Love You Anyway I Can / Big Sky Country Producers: Robbie Walden & Mark Simmons Floating Records 50:07 You’ve got to hand it to LoCash. They’ve been plying their wares, busting their asses, and glad-handing it around Nashville for years. I can remember Chris Lucas and Preston Brust as “LoCash Cowboys” and it must be the best part of ten years ago. Since dropping the “Cowboys” from the name they’ve seen a little chart action and the years of hard work shows signs of paying off. If you were being horrible I suppose you could call them ‘FGL-lite,’ (FGL’s Tyler Hubbard is one of the producers). In fact, they’re way worse than that. The first track here would not be out of place on the Eurovision. The harmonies sound more like they’ve listened to an Eagles record than it does Rascal Flatts but it doesn’t take long for this album to take a turn down that well-worn path of clappy RnB grooves like Summer In A Truck. God Thing is god-awful. When you can walk away from crashing your truck “it’s just a god thing.” The “pray, pray, pray, pray” drove me cray cray. Feels Like A Party might be okay if it’s the kind of party with a bouncy castle and caterpillar cake but it’s so contrived and by the numbers it doesn’t belong in long trousers. Secret Weapon blows up in their faces. It really is one of the most horrible records I can remember hearing in a long time. Cold Beer Kinda Night ticks the necessary beer, truck, middle of nowhere, etc., it even manages to get Alabama’s Feels So Right into the nonsense lyrics. It not only epitomises everything that’s wrong with a lot of modern country but it worries me that this is the sort of thing people will think of when ‘country’ is mentioned. Beers To Catch Up does something similar but pulls it off much better, even if I can’t quite believe that these guys would ever “catch up on some Hank songs.” It’s the best song here by a backroad mile. I get the feeling Chris Lucas and Preston Brust want to be famous at any cost and threw any integrity they might have had out the window the same day they sold their souls. There are some big name writers behind the songs and they should be ashamed of themselves as well. Alright for country fans who haven’t yet started big school. Duncan Warwick From a studio in Tacoma, Washington State this five piece are an accomplished crew with the feel of Texas creating a country, rock and soul sound. Recorded live (in the studio) confirms that they must whip up a storm on stage. The sound is early millennium and encompasses a number of styles throughout. Apparently the album is a concept (oh no please…) covering Walden’s last five years. Fortunately his life is a parody of all the best country songs: divorce, bitterness and self destruction. The first thing you note is the tightness of the band and the way they effortlessly dovetail. A classic sound is evident throughout with electric guitars, lashings of pedal steel, harmonies and some memorable hooks. Walden puts on his achy breaky voice as he tackles Thank God For You with a ballad backed by horns. A distinctive voice with that Southern edge tells us of his gratitude for a devoted woman. Just as engaging is John Coker on lead guitar who shows his effortless chops on a solo passage. Reflecting another style we get a country picking song I’m To Blame. Bass and horns drive this along before more Coker magic. Lyrics touch a familiar theme - “Women booze and drugs, have hurt the ones I love, My actions sometimes speak more then my words, Every time I drink, I lose the will to think, How I’ll stumble when I’m thrown out on the curb”. If all this already ticks my box then a whole minute of a funky sax outro (à la Average White Band) was a complete delight and surprise. Wild Horses owes nothing to Mick and Keef other than the title. As opposed to being used to drag Walden away these animals are suggesting she’s a force of nature. Again this is a slower song where the melody and voice captivate. How Long It Takes talks of how long it takes to mend a woman’s broken heart. An upbeat and danceable song is typical of several tracks here and some tremendous twangy guitar picking is the signature sound. I have to name check Bing Crosby’s birth place - Spokane’s Calling You - a pure Zac Brown Band (that’s when he singing country) slow heartfelt plea of a song and melody. This is his third album and the website talks of him being a hard working fun live act. This I can believe but this is also a fine recording with much to discover that makes it something you’ll have on repeat. Tony Ives 32 cmp - MAY 2019