Archive for the ‘lost highwat’ Category

We Heart Lost Highway

July 27, 2009

Written By: Jeff Markunas
(Americana/Country Editor)

You don’t know me but if you read me – you will. I live off the creativity of music so listening to bad music is just a form of slow starvation to me. You’re not really interested in my opinions anyway you just want to know if a band is worth downloading – which will always be the rock bottom line for this column.

Black Joe Lewis and The Honeybears – “Tell ‘Em What Your Name Is”

Buy On:
Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears

Garage band soul is one description that’s been applied to Black Joe Lewis. Ironic when you consider that James Brown rehearsed his band relentlessly in his Garage studio before touring or releasing new material – apparently Garages are built differently in Joe’s Hood. – James Brown was a genius because he invented it – Joe is an echo of genius.

Does it sound like I’m dissin’ Joe? Well STEP AWAY FROM THE iPOD DUDE! I’m a sucker for a good Horn Band and this is definitely one of those. Ok, so maybe the Famous Flames can’t be fanned back to life but there’s nothing wrong with playin’ the blues and keeping the lyrics real – These guys deliver!

Besides, if somebody doesn’t pick up the torch we’re just left cursing the darkness in silence. Yes these guys are worth buying and I will be listening to them long enough to have horn riffs stuck in my head. It’s a good way to Roll. 

Bottom line – 3.5 Guns

Ryan Bingham and The Dead Horses – “Roadhouse Sun”

Buy On:
Ryan Bingham

If you’re a living ICON who changed the entire spectrum of American music, the most powerful communication tool on this planet, then you’re entitled to write your own ticket.

If you’re Ryan Bingham you can’t avoid standing in Dylan’s gigantic shadow.

Hmmm… I’m detecting a column theme. Nobody wants the responsibilities of being an Icon so what the hell, let’s just go for Rock Star!

The Dylan “Canon” is populated with some of the greatest pickers ever recorded, better come out smokin’ or stay in the basement where it’s safe. You can’t beat a Dead Horse ? In this case you don’t have to – Take superb musicians, rock ‘em hard, apply the lessons of a Master and load up the tour bus.

It may not secure your spot in the R&R Hall of Fame, but rockin’ down Highway 61 has got to be better than spending eternity in Cleveland!

Bottom Line – 3.5 Guns.

Hayes Carll – “Trouble In Mind”

Buy On:
Hayes Carll

This Album don’t trouble my mind none, this boy’s from my Hood. Let’s see – Country singer in Country Music column – seems to break up this month’s theme? – Nope, Country boys are practical.

JB is dead and Robert Zimmerman is too high and mighty to record with you, but Ray Wylie Hubbard can pitch in. (Alright Newbie’s if you don’t know Ray Wylie – look him up – that’s what the Web is for.)

Always good to have an Icon you can keep in your back pocket and pull out when needed.

Aside from being able to go vocal to vocal with living legends, Hayes is a working man and probably has been all his life. If you’re listening for good solid Country with quirky and interesting lyrics played by people who live it – this one’s for you.

Bottom Line – 3.5 Guns

Rock Bottom Line: Soul, Blues, Country, Rock – Multiple personalities or just your usual Alt-Country mix? You decide. Genius? No. Workman like? Yes. Are these Lost Highway gems worth paying actual money for? Yes!

Not everyone can be a musical genius and being an Icon or a Legend takes decades worth of broken guitar strings. Think of it this way – It’s better to play in the shadow of genius then to just exist in the glare of mediocrity.

Everybody here is evenly matched so pick your genre, drop some coin, and enjoy.