Same Ol' Dirt
Memphis 4:01 Same Ol' Dirt 5:32 Halfway to Reno 3:54 She Don't Need Me Anymore 3:40
What Happiness Looks Like 3:34 Escape Artist 4:08 Granddad Son 5:26 Clear Cut 4:35
Stuck Here in Bowling Green 4:23
When I was about to begin this, I believed I would be in a bed in a medical clinic hooked up to all sorts of electrodes with my entire body plugged in. Well, that was Monday night and after they plugged me in I realized there was absolutely no way in hell that I could put on headphones and start working on my computer. Also, they were supposed to be completing a sleep test, so the two just didn't seem to work together. One thing I can tell everyone is it's pretty hard to really get a good night sleep doing one of those and I don't recommend it.
I'm kinda glad I didn't because when Memphis gets rolling, or I should say revving. You can hear the anthems racing through the speakers of the Daytona 500. Instantly the power of the guitar solos drive it home and are so reminiscent of the greats that coined the term "southern rock."
Same Ol' Dirt is the title track that slows down the album considerably. I can see this as being one of those "hold up your lighter songs and sway with the crowd". Although I do see it as a good song, it's night and day between the first and second song. I don't know. I always hate it when albums do this; they begin strong and then the energy drastically changes.
Next, Halfway to Reno, picks it right back up. This is what I can't understand. To me it would just seem common sense to back Memphis up with this.The vocals and lyrics move this song but the drum and guitar help to drive the distance from that small town to BFE(the middle of nowhere) on the way to Reno. I know that same halfway feeling you get on a road trip.That's when you know you've left somewhere and your adventure into the unknown has truly begun.
She Don't Need Me Anymore, has that country sound that is hard to explain. I'm not sure if it comes from the "lady leavin' me" lyrics, or that smooth deep guitar twang that harmonizes with the singer's southern one. Whichever or whatever it is, this song is my favorite so far on the album.
Oh wait! I spoke too soon. What Happiness Looks Like begins with raw power and just never lets go. Wow!! I don't know what else to say. This should have been the title track. This song makes me think of the greats like Black Sabbath or AC/DC. I just suggest you listen to this on good headphones or through a great sound system and jack it up. The guitar solos almost scratch like fingernails down a chalkboard from speaker to speaker, but in such a delicious way.
Escape Artist,.is another song that just seems to power through.Then comes Granddad Son which slows it down as the album mellows out.It's just the singer, lone guitar and a small high-hat almost as if it's a memorial song.It sounds like the perfect song for the end of a funeral scene in a movie, maybe the rain gently coming down. It could even be the end of a scene of a "coming of age" movie.
Clear Cut is another moderately slow song at first but it builds.This one 's guitar along with the vocals just give me that picture of a farmhouse caught in a wildfire.The singer just comes through much darker, on this song. It's an eerie backdrop that makes this song stand out on the album. I believe it's the fiddle and the steady bass drum that really drive it home.. This is probably the most powerful song both lyrically and musically. It's the story that all too often has happened across the south and the midwest part of the country. The story and the feeling it generates is that of a descendant having to give up the family farm to the larger ones or the corporate entities.
The sale is compared to selling the soul to the devil.
Stuck Here in Bowling Green is a great song to end the end with. It's light hearted, high energy and possibly could be an earlier song that was both written and performed. It seems like it is geared to a hometown crowd, but it really transcends that and could be viewed as any band from small town America.
All I can think about this album, what I can't get off my mind is the title track versus the rest of it. I just feel it either doesn't belong, it was chosen for overall popularity or the placement of it was just such a poor choice. I went back and listened to it a few more times separate from the rest. And, you know I really like it when it stands alone.That could only make me draw the conclusion that it's the placement of the song on the album that bothered me. It is such a shame I hit that roadblock because this album both musically and lyrically is so powerful and it is so much needed for its fresh awe inspiring southern rock/country sound.
Jeremy Frost for Country Music News International