south austin moonlighters Ghost of a Small Town (digipak CD, £12.50)label: Blue Rose
After the Resentments, the Band of Heathens, Deadman and Shurman, the South Austin Moonlighters are another hopeful signing in a string of excellent bands from the Texan capital. Over the years the South Austin Moonlighters have acquired a home state reputation as a formidable live act that made its way to the European scene after their very promising debut album Burn & Shine was released two years ago. The quartet is now delivering on this promise big time with Ghost Of A Small Town. Four excellent musicians, all of them songwriters and lead singers, have made what is possibly the most mature, varied and interesting genre album of 2016 so far - not only in Austin! Texas music rocks! Ghost Of A Small Town is a step forward for the South Austin Moonlighters with its great sequence, natural and clear sound and a great balance of mature songs and rocking arrangements on 13 tracks. Fans of Little Feat, Los Lobos, Beat Farmers, John Fogerty, John Mellencamp, Flying Burrito Brothers and Arc Angels will enjoy the album very much! Chris Beall's and Phil Hurley's contributions are dominated by fat guitars, beautifully nostalgic 70s vocal harmonies and hooks. Right out of the gate, Beall's "A Year Of Decembers" is a competent rocker, a little later there's the power ballad "Suburban Avenue" and "Fallin' Down" with strong echoes of the Band Of Heathens' country rock sound. Hurley shines on the Eagles-esque "Movin' On" and the restrained folk-pop/rock of "Final Line". "You, Love & Me" - a co-write with Shurman's Aaron Beavers -is an upbeat country rock song with gliding guitars, beautiful harmonies and a killer hook - made for riding down the highway!
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