Friday, February 19, 2010

J.B Beverley and The Wayward Drifters - Watch America Roll By (2009)


2009 - Watch America Roll By

It’s a time-honored tradition: the life-on-the-road sophomore album. And with the title of Watch America Roll By, J.B. Beverley and the Wayward Drifters willingly stand by tradition on Album Number Two; fortunately, Beverley’s worldview is broader than that of his tour van. Guitarist Beverley (ex-Murder Junkies!) and the Drifters (banjo/dobro/mandolinist Dan Mazer and upright bassist Johnny Lawless) may be all over the literal map—hitting the highway on jaunty opener “Interstate Blues”, hanging out with a hobo on “Gonna Ride a Train”, and making like Reverend Horton Heat’s kid brother on “Drug Train”—but these peripatetic souls know exactly how they want to get wherever it is they’re going: with plenty of old-school fiddle-and-banjo-soaked honky tonk. Too, the band tosses out the requisite shout-outs to their country forebears Messrs Cash and Williams Sr. either explicitly, as on the title track, or implicitly (“They’ll Only Play My Music When I’m Dead”), as any respectful country band should. Of course, the band pulls off the highway long enough to flip the bird to some women who’ve done Beverley wrong—“I Don’t Give A Damn” (“I’d chop off every finger I got / If it keeps me safe from you”... though presumably he’s keeping one finger intact) and “Thank You For Giving Me The Blues”, before putting the rubber back on the road, cackling all the way. Thank goodness someone remembered that road trips are supposed to be fun. - review by Stephen Haag

Track Listing:

01.  Interstate Blues
02.  Watch America Roll By
03.  Walked Across Texas
04.  They'll Only Play My Music When I'm Dead
05.  Me and My Blues
06.  I Don't Give a Damn
07.  Thank You For Giving Me the Blues
08.  Gonna Ride A Train
09.  End Of The Road
10.  Drug Train
11.  Don't Need No One
12.  Favorite Waste Of Time

God Damn I love this album.  I have a feeling that Beverley and the gang will be around longer than many people think.  With the current "Traditional Country" revival that's going on right now, these guys are right up front with names like Dale Watson, Wayne Hancock, Hank III and etc. 


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