Many times in this space I have lamented about the loss of honest and real country music. Country music that is sorely lacking from the airwaves of today’s country music radio stations. The style of country music that speaks to real life topics that are the norm for everyday people. Topics that are more than just bush and tailgate parties, girls in pickup trucks, beer in coolers and how much your country ass will kick another ones country ass. I’m speaking of the good stuff, topics like family, love, hate, murder, infidelity and the like. It’s well known that Americana isn’t afraid to speak to these topics, and I’m happy to review an album by a Canadian band that has captured that sound with a great album released in 2013.
Kentucky Straight Heartbreak (Busted Flat Records) by Steve Parkinson and the Stony Lonesome is just what the doctor ordered when looking to satisfy that need for that classic country sound. Setting the stage for this solid album in the lead track, “No Alter Boy”, in which the main character describes the folly of his bank robbing actions. “Four Wheels” is a great song about family and appreciating what you have. One of the top songs on the album both sonically and lyrically, “Jasper County”, speaks to the challenges of moving on after experiencing tragedy.
Story songs have always been a staple in the old days of country music, and that need is filled with “Sam Steele”, a wonderful tale of a lonesome Northwest Mounted Police office patrolling the Yukon in the gold rush. The title track is a solid rocker about drinking away the love that you’ve lost. The albums closer, “Lead Me Home”, is one of the darkest songs I’ve heard in a long time. A very well written tale about a man on the run not only from the authorities, but from himself.
Kentucky Straight Heartbreak represents a solid throwback to that classic country sound of the 70’s with solid, pronounced electric and steel guitars, strong lyrics and smooth vocals. It’s a wonderful album that will cure any need you may have for that pure country sound that is missing from today’s airwaves. Click here to visit the band's website where you can listen to and purchase the album. Be sure to join Steve Parkinson and The Stony Lonesome the last Sunday of every month in their hometown of Waterloo, Ontario at Jane Bond. Show time is 8:00.