Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Reeves Brothers - Home Sweet Honky-Tonk

I've been diggin' on the trad country of Pahrump's the Reeves Brothers since my pals in the Rhyolite Sound turned me on to them and after seeing them last Saturday night, I finally got a chance to pick up their CD. Brothers Matt and Cole are joined here by bassist Kelly (who has been playing their live shows with them) along with drummer KR Farrell, pedal steel man Steve Gall and pianist Steve West.

Great playing abounds on this disc - I've been blown away by the brothers live, and Gall slips'n'slides the pedal steel, as well, while Kelly and KR provide the country back beat. There's a good amount of variety within the country genre, as well - from the poppier "Plain and Simple Country" to the maudlin (but great) ballad "I'm Here to Drink It All" (love that title!), the honky-tonkin' piano on "Rita Ballou", Matt's catchy ballad "Shae's Song" (copious amounts of fine harmonies and git-playing here), and Cole's heart-felt slow burner, "Can We Try It All Again".

They pick up the pace a bit for the cool mid-tempo title track that kinda reminds me (thematically and somewhat musically) of Merle Haggards' "Swinging Doors", get a little bluesy with another Cole-penned tune, "She Ain't Never Coming Back Again", they tackle Ray Willis' tale of karmic retribution, "Lucy", with dual guitar leads and cool slide, then give us another tale of local talent that never made it in "Local Loser" (we all know at least a few of these - or maybe it's talking about one of us?), and then finish things off with a swingin' two-stepper that sounds like something that Jerry Lee would do (complete with fine piano work) in "Mary Jane".

As with most acts, I dig the energy of seeing the brothers live, but this is a first-rate souvenir of their sounds. Always good to see that real country is still alive'n'well!