Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Album Review: Big and Rich - Horse of a Different Color

The first time I heard Big and Rich I was in the truck on the way back from the orchard. I remember lookin' over at Julie somewhere in the middle of "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy" and saying... "This is why country music is cool now.... it's still fun. There's no fun in rock anymore."

Of course I never took them seriously at all. Let's face it... I'm a traditionalist. I've poured Wild Turkey on Hank Williams grave. I've been back stage of the Grand Ole Opry, and I've met Johnny Cash. So as the fella says... If that ain't country... I'll kiss your ass.

JAC is the same way... and to some degree so is WellDigger. We run with the outlaws. Waylon, Willie, and Kris, if you please. So... What the hell is this album doing in my CD player right now?

Plain and simple... this is roadhouse drinkin' music. Sure... there are tracks, and sections of tracks to skip... but for the most part this is a great album. Silliness abounds... no doubt about it, but it still manages to have a point when it needs to.

The album is singable. The melodies are predictable and still catchy... but it's the bizarre instrumentation that gets me. Banjo's, fiddles, and distorted guitars straight out of 1987. Cracks me up ever time I hear it.

Big and Rich have some growin' up to do... Unlike rockstars who have eiter burned out by 30, or you wish they had, country stars don't really get good until later in life. That means Big and Rich have a helluva upside.

For now though... I'll be content with some of the lyrical gems they've left for us:

"Cover me, a little extra deep, cause that's the only way, I'm ever gonna rest in piece"

"Bury me, on Deadwood Mountain, by my brother Wild Bill, and sister, Calamity Jane..."

"I met a man on the street lastnight... said his name was Jesus..."

"Though he was crazy till, I watched him heel a blind man... watched heel a blind man, now I see."

"Why does everybody want, to kick my ass?"

I have no business liking this band... but I do just the same. Probably because they're so damned unexpected.

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