Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Whitey Morgan and the 78's - Sonic Ranch, album review

Another Chapter

This is Outlaw Country in overall sound fully supported with Whitey Morgan and his vocal echo of Waylon. Gettin’ high and hand me the bottle I’m on the highway to hell full throttle are linguistic touchstones in opener Me and the Whiskey adding to the template.

It is a good ol’ boy conglomerate of honky tonk and maudlin ballad, the rudiments of Country as it should be. There is also the contemporary echo of a Chris Stapleton in the lamenting nihilism [but more so vocal] of Waitin’ Round to Die - by Townes Van Zandt - where the alternatives to that waiting are lots of booze and lots of ramblin'. The boozed existentialism that seems to be the lyrical momentum is continued in the fine Scott Biram song Still Drunk Still Crazy Still Blue, and next Leavin Again is a sweet old-school lovelorn song that reminds yet again of another legend, the resonant timbre of Conway Twitty, and this album couldn’t hit more welcome generic buttons if it tried. Love this track.

The acoustic with pedal steel Good Timin’ Man has an expectation which initially sounds a more optimistic note, but that bottle rears its lyrically requisite head, and there is more melancholy. As if we haven’t got the portrait painted and hung firmly enough yet, the next song is eighth, Drunken Nights in the City.

These are the narratives of pain that are Country’s eternal story and it is played and sung with absolute authenticity in this further chapter.

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