I always scan a CD's song titles to get an idea what's what. Poring over the roster for The Girl for All the World, I noted The Running Kind's cover of Gram Parson's Return of the Grievous Angel and thought "Uh-oh, this one's gonna be trouble!", and, sure enough, it is. Not because it isn't good, it is, but because the album is so steeped in true country as a baseline, and I've always had difficulties with that genre. However, listening to Parsons years ago—not an easy task—I began to cultivate an appreciation for how difficult the task was to modernize the form while remaining true to its essence and heart.
That's what The Running Kind is doing. This, folks, is country and there's no missing the fact, no bones about it. As far as my non-boot-scootin' rear end can tell, the group is picking up where Gram left off. While listening to The Girl for all the World, I kept peering over my shoulder, expecting some drunken redneck to say something snarky and throw a swozzled punch. Wasn't gonna happen—I was in my own home, after all—but that's how thick the atmosphere is here. Two Roads, just as one example, is prime 100% modern goat ropin', terbacky chawin', tequila guzzlin' material, heaped up with salted peanuts, sawdust, and leather saddles.
Leslie Bosson sings in a voice lacking tremolo that nonetheless zeros in on everything looked for in this field: high, sweet, clear, and feminine. The band is tight and pure-dee prairie with John Groover McDuffie tossing a seductive pedal steel in on half the cuts. Seemed Like a Good Idea is a good ol' boy exercise in folky harmony vocals and light spiritedness, humorous in trailer park fashion. Oddly enough, while one might expect Texas residency, The Running Kind is a favorite band at a local alt-country dive in Culver City, just a few miles down the road from me, and with an ex-punker or two in the ensemble! Man, the things that go on in SoCal.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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