THE WESTERN SIZZLERS – For Ol’ Times Sake
Roar Hide Records, 20 May 2013
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
Kevin Jennings seems to be a semi-mysterious English alt country rocker who allegedly ran sound for The Satellites in their pre-fame days, before they added the ‘Georgia’ to their name, was somehow involved in getting them a UK record deal, and was also involved with The Black Crowes somehow.
It’s all a bit murky and unclear really, but one thing cannot be denied – he has assembled a neat little outfit including Rick Richards (The Georgia Satellites), Charlie Starr (Blackberry Smoke) and Jeff Bakos (Jason & The Scorchers) for this collection of mostly self-penned songs that echo the early days of alt country, a la The Satellites and The Scorchers (another act with whom he is rumoured to have been involved).
For Ol’ Times Sake is a fun ride, pure & simple, featuring some hilarious lyrics, some great country tinged rockers – and rock tinged country honks.
Opener One More Beer would have been a shoe-in for featuring in The Blues Brothers Movie had it been around at that time, and for bar-room country stomps you can’t go past Can’t Win For Losing with it’s chorus of “three ex-wives and four children/ every day just seems to end in a fight” or a moonshined-fuelled take on Status Quo’s Break The Rules.
Joking (we think) on their website that he writes a song every time he has a domestic quarrel with his wife, Jennings has put together some great tongue in cheek tracks such as Sugar Pie, with it’s “sugar pie can’t you see/ what you’re doing to me/ you go on, and on and on, and on and on” refrain. It’s all meant in fun and harkens back to a time before we were burdened with politically correct bullshit. No doubt Jennings & Co could care less if someone gets irrationally offended.
I’ll Die A Happy Man If It Kills Me and The Lion’s Cage are straight out of the Georgia Satellites songbook, while Unfinished Business is a straight country crooner with a melody nicked off The Fab Four, while The End is a less-than-two-minutes long instrumental that recalls Queen’s Tie Your Mother Down and spices it up into a rocking jig.
We’re a long way past drawing battle lines between what is rock, country and so on, so For Ol’ Times Sake is simply a rollicking good time that has the power to turn any house into a straw-on-the-floor country bar taken over by long haired cowboy boot wearin’ geetar slingin’ good ol’ boys.
Filed Under: CD Reviews
About the Author: Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE