The County Liners: Mary Jane Dunphe And Chris McDonnell In The County Liners EP (Wharf Cat Records)

Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
This is infectious as hell. Just a touch of weirdness in all the right places. I can’t articulate exactly what that weirdness is, though. All I can say is that you will know of this said weirdness when you come across it. Maybe weirdness is a little too strong, although it was not meant as an insult. Weird is way better than mundane.
Quirky may be a better word. These songs are just slightly left of center. The writing, the instrumentation, and the singing are not your garden variety pop music.  And that’s what I love, the ability to push the envelope without acting like your pushing. That’s what the County Liners do on this EP, they push the envelope without you knowing it. It is organic and done naturally. Nothing contrived or premeditated. This is pure musical exploration and it is glorious. 
Right out of the gate Love Letter (Track 1) hits me like a Green On Red (GOR) song from 1987. This back before this genre even had a name. I think it was just called country rock. This style of music even pre dates alt country. This really is pure country gold and could be a long running hit song for years to come. It is a perfect blending of pop and country. If this song was around in 1987, it would be on 120 Minutes and Nightflight. 
Speaking of GOR, Walkin’ Out (Track 2) is another song that could proxy for one of theirs. It has the same singing style and the same psychedelic, warbly guitars. It is a great song that will hopefully have a long live because it deserves one.    The song even starts out like Black River. Both songs are great and it is my sincere wish that more songs sound like both tracks. the world would be a better place. 
Oklahoma (Track 5) closes out the EP in a very cool and soothing way. A little psychedelic a little surf, and a large dose of quirky vocals make this song something special. Just enough weirdness to make it compelling. But just enough, any more would have been over the top. And I can’t get enough!
This is the first official offering from The County Liners and it is a good one. An EP is short and I think more music is in order. Strike while the iron is hot and the creativity is in free flow. This release is too good to go without a follow up. Make it snappy folks!
Listen to Mary Jane Dunphe And Chris McDonnell In The County Liners
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  1. Listened to the EP, love their sound! Almost like a softer, indie sounding Drive By Truckers with harmonies. Any word on a full release?

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