Been greatly enjoying the sun-in sounds of this album from Bobby Lee. The Sheffield guitarist grapples his strings around a hook of of worn-denim instrumental psych country that’s pulling from JJ Cale, Golden Gunn, and the Natch sessions of Michael Chapman, with smoke tendrils of Bruce Langhorne threading through the mix. With Guy Whittaker (Sharron Kraus, Jim Ghedi, Big Eyes) on drums and percussion and Mark Armstrong on bass, Lee balances the band against the primitive snap of a drum machine that keeps time like white lines on the highway. The record is lent a grizzled cinematic feel that dredges up cheap motel rooms and dusty roads that are hardly traveled in the deep afternoon heat. There’s danger, there’s pain, there’s lament, but that’s reductive, there’s moments of peace here as well.
“Palomino” is a lonesome, picked number that dances around its own comfortability with the tenderness of a rider missing his or her horse.”Listings” is a three-way standoff between the night, Lee, and the amps. Bobby moves from the traditional — melding spirituals with Springsteen and letting Warren Zevon boil down into a sweatbox slink out of the record. Shakedown in Slabtown is slightly molten, shifting easily from swagger-stung confidence to trepidation and reserve. He ties it together well, though. Lee’s making his mark here, spinning classics into his own essence while crafting an album of personal mediations that spurn the impulse to sit still.
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