Way Down South
Far too long since my last post. I would attribute it to the music, but that’s becoming less and less true as I find more and more I really enjoy. At the same time, I’ve been caught up in work, personal projects, and a whole lot of reading (and other miscellaneous activities) which has sidetracked me from writing much about music or listening to a whole lot of it. Will try to jump back on the horse this week with at least one more Record Bulletin by Saturday at the latest. But enough of that. How are you?
MIKE COOLEY – The Fool On Every Corner (TuneCore): I never found much of Clapton’s Unplugged interesting—the original “Layla” crackled and popped but the acoustic one rendered him pleasant but impotent. Too true for too many live strum ‘n drum recordings where I discover the artist-in-question’s catalog sounding nearly identical when cropped of its excess. Drive-By Truckers’ frontman Mike Cooley’s solo debut recording of his three-night stand at two Georgia venues collects twelve album picks and one original (“Drinking Coke and Eating Ice”) succeeds on surprises: Having never heard a Cooley interview, his grumbling baritone doesn’t match the straining tenor relaying the fed-up housewife tale on opener “Loaded Gun in the Close”; his erratic but well-placed humor such as the dedication for “Guitar Man” (“This is a song for a neighbor I used to have. I hope he’s dead.”) is unpretentious; and diehard fans might have as much difficulty as this novice reviewer in IDing each track just by ear, as Cooley tears down and rebuilds material—like it’s, uh, I don’t know, his job?—with storytelling gusto and presumably libido aplenty. A MINUS
CAITLIN ROSE – The Stand-In (BMI): What must drive critical fawning to compare this Nashville hopeful’s second to Patsy Cline can’t be her sound—Jenny Lewis has as much or more a country kick than Rose—but her disposition, one shunning conventional mainstream country conservatism but not its love-soaked clichés. Really, this is indie pop/rock with a splash of twee and some Nashville twang sprinkled on top to masquerade as the Second Coming of Country. Sing enough about your fascination of wedding bands or the songs you’re not hearing on commercial radio and sooner or later you’ll find yourself there whether you’ve mentioned ‘Murica or not. B PLUS