[Album Review] The Slim City Pickers- The Slim City Pickers
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by Mark Anthony Brennan
theslimcitypickers

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Release Date: August 26th, 2014
Label: Independent

Just so that we are clear at the outset, I am not a fan of modern country, not by a pre-metric rural mile. But, with the Slim City Pickers that is not what we are talking about. This is more of fun-filled trip back to the early ’70’s when rock and country music coexisted comfortably, when there was no stigma attach to being associated with a genre in which singing through your nose and having a video on CMT are considered more important than delivering an honest sound. The Pickers are like the Flying Burrito Brothers, early Eagles and the Allman Brothers all rolled into one, and those are guys who wouldn’t know just what to make of the likes of McGraw, Urban and Chesney, much less want to hang out with them.

The group boasts three guitarists, and at virtually every point on the record all three are being employed, with at least one of them usually playing steel. This musicianship is most notable on the album’s two instrumentals, “Song for Paige” and “Down the Hatch”, but it also provides a rich background throughout. I can’t say that I picked up a lot of lyrical depth in the songs (but to be fair I wasn’t trying too hard) but the song structures are very strong, particularly on the longer numbers like “Endless Summer”.

There are two things that really make this record work for me — first is the Pickers’ enthusiasm for their music, which is tangible, and second is the variety of the material. Although you could probably identify about a five-year period in history (1968-1973) in which to place this music, the actual styles range from Flying Burrito Brothers (“Rolling Numbers”) to the Eagles (“You Belong To Me”) and from the Allman Brothers (“Down the Hatch”) to the Kinks (“One and Only Gal”). They even throw in some psychedelia for good measure.

‘The Slim City Pickers’ is a collection of well-crafted classic country rock, performed with both professional care and impassioned zeal. There’s nothing particularly forward-looking about it, but, let’s face it, we are talking country here, so…

One Response

  1. johnny

    Hey man check out the guitar’s in About Love, man check it out! This is no Jason Aldean crap, give it a listen.