I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. I have three hobbies (and I say this stuff with tongue in cheek, I promise).
- I support a football team – for the benefit of my US friends, this is soccer, but it is played with a ball and you use your feet.
- In the summer I go to watch cricket – for the benefit of my US friends this is a game like baseball, but better, and it needs skill
- I do this website
Frankly, the first hobby, well its shit. My team loses and me and my brother just get pissed off every Saturday. The second I do enjoy, but it needs good weather, and I am English, so come on….
And I don’t know why I do anything but the third, when people send you three track EP’s that say this on the press release: “Tad Overbaugh’s songs fall somewhere between the twang of Steve Earle and the chimey, hook-filled songwriting of Tom Petty.”
Then they say: “[the musicians have shared stages with] The Drive-By Truckers, Son Volt, The Bottle Rockets, Cracker, Slobberbone, Robbie Fulks, Tim Easton, and Will Hoge.”
Ok, you had me at Steve Earle, never mind DBT, and Will Hoge and even if Robbie Fulks did tweet me to say that he thought my take on his last record was “too English” (God alone only knows what he’ll think of the opening to this review…..), then it still ruled and I can’t help where I was born.
The matter in hand, then is “Demons In The Dust”. And staggeringly, all those things on the press release are true. Except one.
Y’see, one listen to “Hey Lonely” the EP’s opener will have you reaching for the nearest Dan Baird record. There is something of Warner E. Hodges about the guitar work here, and the clever lyrics (“hey lonely, maybe we could be friends, and since you always come around I’ll never be alone again…”) mark this one out as special.
“Open Road And Blue Sky” makes good on those Petty comparisons. A real blue-collar chug propels this – songwriting from the heart and the heartland that those of us that have loved Springsteen all our lives always gravitate towards.
The last one of the most fun a threesome could ever be (ahem!) “Other Side Of A Six Pack” is a down and dirty trip to the honky-tonk and one where you come back smelling of beer and singing a Kendal Marvell song too.
So yeah, this hobby is the best, because really cool people across the other side of the world who you’ve never met send you records by guys like Tad Overbaugh, who you’ve never heard of before. And, rather like “Demons In The Dust” they are very often majestic.