8 Songs | MR059 | Release Date 2009
While The Salty Dogs are easy enough to categorize as retro (if not regressive) country rockers, chief singer-songwriter Brad Williams has a warm, sly and supple voice. It travels like a Terrence Malick camera through the local badlands, threading through familiar kudzu claimed mansions and shotgun shacks, through emptied town squares and down dirt roads.
There’s nothing novel about the song structures, which feature concrete-poured foundations, courtesy of the rhythm section of bassist Brent LaBeau and drummer Bart Angel. But Williams’ wistful lyrics and subtle phrasings evoke a post-Gothic small town South, while guitarist Nick Devlin haunts the proceedings like an electrified Boo Radley, wielding his staccato Stratocaster like a cattle prod, showing off buzzy snatches of T. Rex.Call them 21st-Century Country Boys.
Don’t miss this Little Rock band’s cover of Chuck Berry’s “Nadine,” which features the band’s best Rockpile impression (and Devlin’s offhand vocal); the Buck Owensy plaint of “Second Chance”; or the moment in “Words May Talk” when Stephen Winter’s piano shows up in solidarity.
- via Philip Martin at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette