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Release Info: Roy Sludge: Too Drunk To Truck (2011)
The title track kicks off the album with a strong indication of what will follow. Yup, songs about trucks, drinking and ornery women, although not necessarily in that order.
"Well I drive all over this country, roaming from town to town
When day is done I’m gonna have my fun I’ll pick ‘em up and put ‘em down.
I’ll flirt with some old waitress, try to push my luck.
But when push comes to shove I’m too tired for love ‘cause I’m too drunk to truck".
The song also unleashes Sludge’s secret weapons: Boston-based guitarists Duke Levine and Kevin Barry. Both have a sound pristine and precise, yet filled with character, Barry on the lap steel and Levine on the electric guitar. And I shouldn’t neglect bassist Jim Haggerty, who brings his own rockabilly cred from his role as bassist for Wanda Jackson.
Sludge sings of drinkers remorse on the amusing “I Got Hammered (Then I Got Nailed).” Haggerty’s walking bass line mimics the pounding that comes from a bad hangover as Sludge laments, “spent the next five days in jail, but the rest I can’t recall ‘cause of too much alcohol.”
I’m sure that there are two sides to every story, and “Hell Hath No Fury” provides Sludge’s perspective on a love gone wrong. “She lives to hurt me, she lives to make me mad,” he sings, “she loves to burn me, when I’m sad it makes her glad.” Ouch.
Sludge and crew bring out the country shuffle as on the swinging “Eight Would Be Great.” A few tracks later, the band cranks it up in fine Sun Records fashion on “If You Can’t Rock Me.” Levine, in particular, lets it fly with some magnificent guitar licks and solos.
The record closes with a mighty fine cover of Johnny Cash’s “Drive.” It is the perfect capstone to a release that showcases a classic sound with skill and flair.
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