Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Album (sort of) Review: Low Life vol 1 &2 by Ryan Racine & Gas for Less

Dwight Yokam has a new disciple! Ryan Racine and Gas for Less carry the torch of the Bakersfield sound to a new generation of Country fans. Based (oddly enough) out of Detroit, Ryan Racine & Gas for Less deliver a beautiful blend of Country and Rockabilly that's never in fashion, yet never out of style. Featuring an abundance of jangling guitars with touches of fiddle, slide guitar, (and some beautiful Hammond organ on Sad Songs) Ryan and company follow the musical template laid down by Buck Owens, Merle Haggard and Dwight Yokam. And lyrically, Ryan spins new tales of heartache and loss that play counterpoint to the band's catchy riffs and rhythms. With lyrics like, "I'll be living the low life, I've got nothing to live up to when you're gone." (Low Life) "I've had more abuse than I can blame myself on" (The Last Time I'm Gone) and "Now I walk out knowing I'm ahead of the game. Darling even the best times ain't worth the pain" (Best Times); Ryan and friends might even be able to teach Dwight a few new ways to be cruel.
Although Low Life vol 1 & 2 are technically two separate EPs, they are available only in mp3 format and when played back to back merge seamlessly as one solid, cohesive album. From the opening jangle of Low Life to the final chord of Mama Tried, the eleven songs on these EPs plumb the lows and lowers of whiskey soaked dysfunctional love. But with music this catchy, even the lows feel pretty darn good, in fact the whole set is a gas!

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