Thursday, January 13, 2011

Review: Hans Rotenberry & Brad Jones - Mountain Jack

All I can say is, you have to be kidding me.

Given the track record of Rotenberry and Jones individually, I was prepared for a pretty good album when I heard about this duo effort. What I got was an album of damn near perfection.

Mountain Jack sonically has more in common with Jones' 90's release Gilt Flake than it does with most of the output of The Shazam. Given this roots tinged collection of pop songs that approach is just right. Indeed, the songs on which Jones sings lead vocals sound of a piece with that earlier record. "A Likely Lad" with its wonderful "Mother can you spare a dime?" tagline is a worthy successor to the best of Jones' work, such as "Miss July" or "Ophelia Floats Away."

The Rotenberry lead material is just as good. "Froggy Mountain Shakedown" and "Back to Bristol" are maddeningly catchy numbers which distill good ol' fashioned country through Muswell Hillbillies era Kinks. There simply is nothing wrong with that.

In fact, the whole album works in every way imaginable except one. At 10 tracks long it simply is too short, though it is so good you won't mind listening to it twice in a row.

Simply a new classic.

Grade: A (At least)

Note: This album is available as a download from the usual suspects, but if you want a copy of the physical CD (like I did) you'll need to order it from 50 Ft Records directly.

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