The Backyard Devils
Honky Tonk Heartbreaker
Just Add Cold Beer and Whisky For a Perfect Saturday Night.
I guess it was the cover art that caught my eye last week when I was looking for something to play while I did the ironing (honest!) and after five or six songs I actually found myself doing an involuntary two-step!
The 90 mph Twang-attack that opens track #1 Rambling had me raising my eyebrows and when Erik Arsenault’s gravelly, road-worn voice kicked in I knew I was going to love this album…..let that be a lesson kids; Cover Art and the first track is ‘still all important.’
On paper there’s not a lot different between The Backyard Devils and 99 other Hillbilly/Bluegrass/Old-Timey bands I receive music from; but the joyous way this band sound on the break-up songs, especially The Stanley Brothers’ How Mountain Girls Can Love and their own Pack Your Bags makes for a very special group of musicians indeed.
The musicianship here is outstanding from start to finish; but I must congratulate the Devils themselves and George Belliveau for the razor sharp production that highlights every single instrument without ever overshadowing the vocals.
Somehow; and this is the magic that a great songwriter can create, songs like Gospel, All I Want to Do and the lonely heartbreaking ballad Feeling Stoned instantly sound like you’ve known them all your life; although they were all written just for this album.
For Sons of Canada these guys manage to out-Country most Americans I know on
For what it’s worth I don’t think there are nearly enough Truck Driving songs in Country Music these days; but the Devils rectify that wrong with two absolute belters…..Hard Times is as good as anything I’ve heard since Commander Cody made Truck Driving sound sexy; and then Scott H Biram’s aptly named Truck Driver had me smiling and (mentally) punching the air on every chorus.
Baring in mind where Country Music comes from I can’t remember the last time I heard a Cowboy song; and yet again that wrong is righted here with the sadly romantic Cowboy; which is certainly a contender for ‘favourite track’ and could also be great funeral song; but don’t tell Mrs. Magpie!
Oh Lordy Lord! If there is a TV producer out there considering making a programme in the vein of The Dukes of Hazard I’ve found the theme tune for you…..and the story therein has all the hallmarks for the script of the first episode……Bernie Mountain Sinners is that very song and you will love it too; trust me.
I’ve I’ve raved about all of these songs, my ‘favourite song’ must be special, mustn’t it? Hell yes! I’m So Easy is….well…..I think I once met the girl he falls in love with; but I managed to escape her clutches…..and what a cool tune too.
There you have it; an intoxicating mix of Bluegrass, Honky-Tonkin’ Country and a smattering of fancy dan Rockabilly ……..what’s not to like……some days I love my job!
Released UK 20th February 2017
Released Canada 17th Dec 2014