Steven Casper & Cowboy Angst
SOMETIMES JESSE JAMES
Silent City Records/Hemifran
The Essence of Americana in Six Songs.
We absolutely loved Steven Casper and Cowboy Angst’s previous album SNAKES IN MY HEAD so got really excited when this new EP arrived through the letter box and …..woah….. (spoiler alert) it just might be even better!
The CD had been in the car for over a week when I slid it into the player on a cold, dark January evening as I left the depot…..and as soon as the crunchy Bo Diddleyesque riff that opens the first song Down came growling from the speakers I just knew all of my cares were about to be blown away; and I was right.
Down goes on to be the perfect ‘driving song’ with a toe-tapping beat and a chorus that had me singing my heart out along the Washington Highway* as the flickering lights cascaded through the wet windscreen.
Part Rock and Roll and part Alt. Country and 100% pure quality; what’s not to like?
Things slow down on the next song The Best Days Of Our Lives; not quite a ballad; more a sultry soft Country Rocker……think Tom Petty covering the Flying Burritos and you will get the mood; and what a mood the band create; especially those guitars and pedal-steel.
My Wrecking Ball finds Casper driving through the night in a clapped out car to see his lover (not unlike me that first night!). It’s a theme often portrayed in Rock n Roll but this has a Hill Country thread and is a lot darker than anything Bruce ever wrote; and I like it for those very reasons.
Ooohheee….They Call It Love is sultry joy from start to finish; not quite Gothic, but not too far away and the way Casper delivers his words over some sizzling guitars will make you wonder why he’s not headlining stadium tours.
The music takes a hefty left turn for the sixth and final track here; Mi Sueno, Mi Dolor; a gentle Tex-Mex instrumental that wouldn’t sound out of place in a Quentin Tarantino Spaghetti Western; or indeed a Mavericks album.
Then of course there is the RMHQ ‘Favourite Song’ accolade which goes to the sleazy yet beautiful Born To Lose Blues; a late night Southern Shuffle worthy of the Sir Douglas Quintet or (again) The Burritos.
SOMETIMES JESSE JAMES is over all too quickly at only six tracks; but there’s always the repeat button for a smart set of timeless Americana music that will still be played in thirty years time; which won’t be the case with your Ed Sheeran downloads.
Released February 9th 2018
*That’s the ‘original’ Washington in NE England btw.