08 September 2008 (released)
11 August 2008
This is so much the real deal!
Gill Landry has been associated with Americana band Old Crow Medicine Show but this collection is a completely different kettle of poisson and frankly it is the best piece of roots Americana I have heard this year.
The songs have the feel of a thirties or forties film noir but the subjects are drifters, criminals, lovers, drunks, and border bums and the way the characters are brought to vivid life the listener can feel the desperation and edge the players represent.
From the opener. 'Poor Boy’, with its echoey guitar and drunken drumming, lonely violin and those dark vocals setting the scene, to 'Lawless Soirez’ with a trumpet putting you in a Mexicali sunset and the ballad of the loser of the title and then to 'Dixie’ – all country violin and 'With our arms round each other, drinkin’ Dixie in the gutter; waiting for the sunrise again' these are real stories and Landry has the happy knack of telling the stories in such a way that you can see yourself as the observer.
The playing throughout is stunning and the music plays its part without being the focus for the listener – it is all about the stories and the music simply emphasises and locates the songs – 'Lonliness’ could only represent the boy lost in New Orleans when you hear the trombone and trumpet together. The variation in styles is incredible but unlike some other collections that have no single musical style this is appropriate and not confused.
None of the stories are particularly uplifting but they still manage to put a smile on your face and the sixth or seventh time through the songs are still great to listen to.
It’s difficult to realise that this is a debut album so confident is the music and the performance but if this is the beginning of his career I am really looking forward to his future.