by Dan Ferguson
Whitey Morgan & the 78s
Not unlike these parts, it's also hard times in the Motor City. In these kinds of times, sometimes there's no more perfect escape for the downtrodden than a few cold ones in the honky tonk and a burly C&W band twangin' it up on stage. Hailing from hurtin' Flint, Whitey Morgan & the 78s fit the bill to perfection. Forthright and manly in their live presentation, on their Bloodshot debut they trekked to Woodstock, NY and the Levon Helm Studios to lay down their country brew. While still tasty country, the studio version softens the edge heard in the live presentation. Then again, nothing a shot of Johnny Paycheck or Dale Watson can't cure. Morgan knows how to hit the honky tonk nerve and his originals ain't too shabby either. Visit www.bloodshotrecords.com.
Goner Records 59GONE
Ramshackle roots music from Memphis mired in a garage punk upbringing that's as noisy as it is twangy and not far removed from fellow Memphians The Oblivians and The Grifters is the quick and dirty on Rhinestone River from Limes. Limes is led by Shawn Cripps who fronted some hard rock bands in the Bluff City in the 1990s. Rhinestone River finds Cripps enlisting a mess of Memphis scenesters to help take his muse to a more mature, but no less messy level. Don't let the noisiness of it all distract you and give the undivided to Cripps' songs which will sink their teeth in if you let them. The roughshod tunage is on an equal plane, form fit to songs. Visit www.goner-records.com.
(Dan Ferguson is a free-lance music writer and host of The Boudin Barndance, broadcast Thursday nights from 6 - 9 pm on WRIU-FM 90.3. He lives in Peace Dale and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)