Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
Damn right! This is what country music should sound like. The reason it is called outlaw country, honky tonk, Americana, etc. is because the name “country” has been hijacked by people who wouldn’t know what country music was if they heard it on the radio. Consequently, they will never hear it on the radio because the same people also control the airwaves. How convenient. All is not lost, the glass is half full, if not a bit more than half.
Places like The Ameripolitan Awards, Saving Country Music, and Twangrila.com are safe houses that review and promote this type of music. And quite frankly, it’s starting to thrive. People are starting to demand more from country music than sweet potatoes in an easy chair (that’s a real song lyric!).
Luckily, there are still acts like The Reeves Brothers from Pahrump, NV. King Of Country Music is a collection of mainly cover songs. These are not your garden variety country songs. No sir, these guys dug deep in the honky tonk well to come up with these great tunes. The most well known song on this collection is CC Waterback, a 1982 collaboration between Merle Haggard and George Jones about drinking too much. Imagine that! The Reeves Brothers pay tribute to the original but put their own spin on it, which is a little bit more fuzz on the guitars. Me likey!
There are two originals on this collection that are worth noting because they are the makins’ of country classics. Sober Up And Face The Night (Track 8) is a perfect ballad that has tons of emotion and self reflection. It was written by Cole Reeves and Kelly Bishop. Real soul searching and maybe a little confession. I guess everyone can draw their own conclusions, but one thing is clear, this song is very deep.
The other original is Honky Tonks And Cheap Motels (Track 4). Another deep song full of keen observations and self discovery. A very descriptive account of what it’s like to be troubadours. The Reeves Brothers know. They live it.
Other songs on this fine album include other covers by the likes of Ray Willis, Donnie Rohrs, and Chris Ledoux. I would pretty well guarantee that most of you will have never heard a good portion of these covers so it is like hearing them for the first time. And let me assure you, they are legit.
The golden age of country and it is going on now. You won’t have to say “if only” any more. Jump on The Reeves Brothers caravan. They would be happy to have new riders.