Is NYC ready for the Country? If Trailer Radio’s new CD (self-titled) is any indication, then the Big Apple is about to get a whole lot twangier. A new underground scene is emerging and Trailer Radio is leading the charge. Their new album has a fresh sound that celebrates the hillbilly way of life in songs delivered with backhanded-backwoods humor, lively arrangements and quirky licks that complement Shannon Brown’s strong vocals and straight-up country sass.
The eclectic band features a bitchin’ group of musicians who have worked with artists like Elton John, Levon Helm, The Lonesome Praire Dogs, and even Lou Rawls. They include David Weiss and Mike Dvorkin on smokin’ guitar, Joel Shelton on bass, and Kenny Soule on drums. Shelton produced the new CD and there is no glossy overproduction here – it is crisp, clean and oh so good. (He and Weiss contributed most of the original material). Shannon Brown is the reigning Queen of the White Trash Court, shining strong with expert delivery and pitch-perfect lead vocals.
New York may be her home now, but Brown originally hails from West Virginia. I’m quite proud that my home state can claim her as she’s a whoop-assfull of talent. She has a background in theater, and after appearing in a cabaret production featuring all country music, she was bitten hard by the Twang bug. She teamed up with some veteran musicians on the New York circuit, and a few short months later they headed into the studio for their debut album.
The result is one hell of a record. Musically, the tracks roll through the influences of Buck Owens, Buddy Holly, Del Shannon, Tom Petty and even a bit of the Rolling Stones, as they weave into melodies that are distinctly original and definitely C-O-U-N-T-R-Y.
Channeling a mixture of Ray Stevens eye-winking wit & Loretta Lynn tell-it-like-it-is lyrics, Brown packs a punch on their first single release,” A Little Too Old (And A Lot Too Ugly)” as well as on the tracks “Football Widow” and my personal favorite, “He’s a Six.” She’s brazen AND she’s funny. How can you not love that? And if “Boll Weevil” ain’t country, I’ll kiss your ass. Feed the family redneck style…
“when you serve it hot, you can’t taste the buckshot
Boll Weevil’s on the table whether you like it or not.”
Brown transitions from rebel rousing and ballsy to sentimental and sultry on the standout tracks “Streets of Savannah” and Tom Petty’s “Southern Accents.” No doubt the former West Virginian relates to the sentiment in the latter. All the songs on the album are solid and delivered with conviction and lots of energy. I’m bettin’ they put on one hell of a live show.
All in all, in this album you get grit, wit and country heart. Trailer Radio out of NYC could teach a few Nashvillians what Country Music is all about. Uh huh. Git ya some.
~ Richard Diehn
To share this article, copy this link:
Richard Diehn hails from the hills of Northern West Virginia where he grew up as a member of his family’s traveling band. He’s a writer, storyteller, and certified Rockhound. He enjoys fishing, Gentleman Jack, and stalking his favorite country singer, George Jones.
Outlaw Magazine. Country, Rock and Roll, Blues, Folk, Americana, Punk. As long as it is real, it is OUTLAW. Overproduced mediocrity need not apply.