Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash -- New Old Story

Stories about provenance are pretty boring, but I feel like it's important this time. If you don't care about how I found out about Bastard Sons, feel free to skip to below the image. But it's worth mentioning that studies show that our musical tastes are pretty much set after college, and I came of age during the advent of music streaming services like Pandora. It was there that I fell in love with the Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash.

My passion for Cowboy Mouth led me to a quirky little cowpunk-ish band called The Refreshments. Pandora kept matching the Refreshments (but not Cowboy Mouth) with bands who played distorted guitars and they also relished twang. They had names like Son Volt and Uncle Tupelo and Two Cow Garage. They had nasty attitudes and an arsenal of self-effacing puns.

And then there were the Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash.

I didn't know country could be, like, legit. It didn't occur to me that you could sing about trucks and honky tonks and mean it and still be authentic. The Bastard Sons showed me a different side  of alt-country: one that put the heart back into the mangled remains of whatever Garth Brooks et. al. had left behind.

And darn it if they haven't done it again.

New Old Story is certainly an apt title -- the only thing that's revolutionary here is swagger, not content. The Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash know what they're good at but, more importantly, they know what they love, and that love is obvious throughout the album. They may have lonely hearts, but this album is a love song to country music if there ever was one.

Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash -- Official, Facebook, iTunes, Bandcamp, Random Records

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