Last Call For Dreamers
Edgewater Music Group/Sony Music
Top Quality Classic Twist on Modern Country Rock
I was initially intrigued to find that Lowdown Drifters come from Washington, where I too live, but I’d never heard of them or the clubs they’ve been playing in for years…… then I dug deeper; and discovered that there’s another Washington……in America! Who knew?
This is the band’s second album; following the release of WOOD & WATER in 2016; and right from opening track Red Rock I just feel that the time is right for them to conquer the English speaking world.
A weary sounding man drawls over a steel-guitar and a drum that sounds like a pumping heart;
“Fifty miles from town and the needles on empty
I let her coast to the side of the road
Nothing around but a memory and me
And that West Texan sun hanging low.”
As it progresses and builds to an epic finale, a swirling electric guitar adds to the melodrama in the narrators sad, sad story …….. and you know you have invested both your money and time very wisely indeed.
This is followed by the enigmatic single We Three Kings, which confirms the absolute class these guys bleed in their words and music; combining great blue-collar storytelling with a majestic Country Rock melody that will stand the test of time.
To some greater or lesser degree Lowdown Drifters fill a gap somewhere between Little Feet, Poco, Alabama and even Lynard Skynard; welding smooth Rock guitars to an intrinsically Country set of songs and stories.
Nearly every song here conjures up it’s own imagery without the need for a video; especially Diesel Smoke and This Old House.
The ‘drinking songs’, Empty Bottles Between the Bottom and the Bottle and the very danceable Barstools my be staple themes for Country; but the way these two songs are delivered feel like a punch to the jaw and are worthy of serious play on the American radio stations; and will surely be crowd favourites when played live?
While this is very much a cracking album from start to finish; reminding me of the sheer thrills I felt when I first discovered Toby Keith and Poco many years ago; but there are two definite songs that stick out and make Lowdown Drifters rise above their contemporaries.
Diamonds and Rust is one of those amazing songs that you can’t exactly pin down; but has you tapping your toes and mumbling the chorus even when you don’t exactly know the chorus; and the other is the one I’m choosing as my Favourite Track, the slinky acoustic ballad Fire in Her Eyes; a song that has echoes of Springsteen circa Darkness at the Edge of Town and Vince Gill at any time in his single days. This is as Cool as Modern Country gets……. check it out ASAP.
Foe the likes of me living in the UK, what Lowdown Drifters do is something akin to ‘Fantasy Country’ as they tick every box I have and sing about ‘The American Dream’ (and the anxiety type too) with care and love, plus they sound like they haven’t just lived the songs themselves; but are still living them today…… which isn’t exactly true of many of today’s Trucker cap and torn jean wearing ‘heroes’.
# Sadly my review copy only lists the band members names; so I can’t tell you who sings or plays what…… but you can find that out yourself when you buy your own copy!