GENUINE (Lucky Dog/SONY) The Derailers
Outstanding good time Country record. Quintessential driving music. The golden age of Country lives on in the Derailers. Let's put this record in a time capsule so future generations and alien civilizations don't think that Shania Twain is what Country was. That's so sad.
Tony Villanueva and Brian Hofeldt migrated from Portland to Austin about ten years ago and begin their neo-Bakersfield odyssey in high profile earnest. Dave Alvin produced the first three records for Watermelon/Sire, and the last two have been produced by Nashville studio ace Kyle Lehning. Some of his touches on this record bring tears to nostalgic eyes, especially "I Just Wanna Be Alone With You," fantastic. But mostly it's about uptempo upbeat, and my favorite tunes are definitely the two Jim Lauderdale numbers, that cat is the best. I'm crazy about the song he wrote with the great Leslie Satcher, "Take It Back," they're an absolutely wicked team. The album opener Jim penned with John Leventhal, "The Way To My Heart." I like the whole record, but I confess to listening to those two over and over. Loudly.
Much has been rightly made about the "Bakerpool/Liversfield" paradigm of The Derailers. Because it's so true that along with the elusive unbridled spirit of Buck Owens, the attitude, the harmony, and the guitars of the Beatles are present in near equal measure.
(There are golden-age artists like George Jones, Marty Robbins, and others emulated here, as well as other British Invasion acts, though both those first two say it best.) But far from mere emulators, The Derailers are an outrageous band unto themselves, Lord amighty. Villanueva and Hofeldt both sing their asses off, and are superior Telecaster handlers. The rhythm section of bassist Ed Adkins and drummer Scott Matthews is rock hard, their best yet.
When Country radio comes back to its senses, or the Clear Channel leadership gets abducted by aliens (good idea!), or there's a blue collar revolution in this country...these guys are going to be huge. We highly recommend this CD to lovers of what we know Country means. Dig it on the Listen page, and buy it here. FG