The Corduroy Road Two Step Sihouette
Howdydandoo cowfolks and Georgia’s The Corduroy Road swing in the best traditions of Old Crow Medicine Show, Devil Makes Three and fellow Athenians Drive By Truckers (When the Truckers feel the urge).
‘Two Step Silhouette’ is the second album proper and my esteemed colleague Maurice Hope observed back in the halcyon days of 2009 that “By the time they make another recording I fully expect them to be even better in all areas — not least a few stronger songs”. Well guess what – they are.
From the off they mean business and “My Dear Odessa” is a two-step fury of a tale about our hero and how he had a run-in with a local farmer over some trifling matter – and settled it with a barrel of buckshot through the chest. Next up ‘Living With Me’ and this one’s a monster of the hillbilly hit factory, insanely catchy, instant gratification if you please. ‘Elzics Farewell’ and we go Irish, as in 'close your eyes and you’re in a Limerick watering hole' Irish. It’s instrumental and created with a linking arms and getting dizzy around the dance floor mischievousness. They are at their most dangerous when keeping things simple and ‘Open Your Eyes When You Sing’ catches me off guard. Lead singer Drew Carman sounds ironically similar to the only band I know from our own shores that really swing in the way these old-timey American boys can, Hey Negrita. The vocals and guitar riff in particular put me in mind of Felix Bechtolsteimer and Mathew Ord. Its bewitching arrangements reflect Carman’s acknowledgement that “(the album) expresses songs that came from collaboration, input and teaching from every member of the band with one another.” This is something that you feel wasn’t there first time round and represents a huge step forward.
A point is deducted for the final three songs, which end the storm with a bit of a whimper, but still, songs which would be first on the set list of most bands of this genre. Notorious for their rowdy, punk-driven live shows The Corduroy Road embody that old down-home platitude that ‘you mess with me, you mess with the whole trailer park’. It’s the kind of perky, foot stompin’ banjo based country-with-attitude that makes the ears stand to attention and goose bumps grow down the arms. ‘Two Step Silhouette’ is the kind of album that you want to review forever.