Thursday, 3 December 2009

Jackson Taylor & The Sinners - Aces 'n' Eights

I’d never heard of Texan singer-songwriter Jackson Taylor before, despite his previous half dozen or so releases. On first hearing I’ve gotta say I like him, I like him a lot. He reminds me a lot of the great Monte Warden and the Wagoneers who I’ve raved about before. When a songwriter of Billy Joe Shaver’s talent and status describes you as follows, “Jackson’s songs are so real and honest, you know straight off he's been there and done that. He writes and sings like he lives, great songs that I believe will live forever", you know the guy must have talent.

The opener is a great honky tonk duet with Dale Watson, telling us how they’re “I’m back on the bottle, back to the bad old days”. There’s a Waylon feel to the Mike Ness penned Ball And Chain, this time duetted with Jason Boland. Country Song is a four-letter rant at some of country music’s “spiky-haired half assed popstar wannabes”. The disgruntled, aggressive lyrics are what give the album it’s Parental Guidance warning on the cover.

Both Goin' Back To California and Barefeet On The Dash show a fair bit of flair and originality and I really liked the title track, a Texas ballad that has more than a hint of Joe Ely about it. Easy Lovin' Stranger is another fine item, and I quite enjoyed Ness’s other number Highway 101, which is the rockiest number on show. Sex, Love & Texas is an up-tempo tribute to a girl we all dream about.

The album closes with Cocaine, a juicy honky tonk barroom baller and a second version of Back On The Bottle, with Swedish country band, the Taylors replacing the Sinners. A really impressive album that will get me searching out the earlier releases.

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