FAME Review: Ghillies Band - Meet the Ghillies
Ghillies Band - Meet the Ghillies

Meet the Ghillies

Ghillies Band

Available from The Ghillies web site.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

Oh yeah, just diving into that layered multiple guitar matrix in the intro here sets up things nicely, a ripping Allman Bros. preface immediately crashing into a NuWestern sound that, instead of yodeling about pick-up trucks and prairie dogs, digs first into snarky, smart-ass, ground-level stories of urban losers who don't give a damn 'cause that's where they're at with little to no chance of escape. Ladeez 'n gentz, this is a whole new wrinkle in a very classic country sound fleshed out by a rock undertone that beefs up the North 40 twang about as far as it'll go. By the time the warmly cynical second cut, "As Good as It Gets"—which is NOT whatcha think it's about)—fades out, you understand that these bastards know how to write a song.

And there are the expected love songs (Fallin' in Love, etc.) and passin' on the manliness cuts (It's Just a Little Rain) as well, one can hardly make an LP nowadays without a couple of 'em, but who do ya know who can combine Travis Tritt, Atlanta Rhythm Section, and Coney Hatch (yep, no shit, Coney Hatch, y'all) and make it work? Cementing everything is that wide world of twangin' strings that never quits: great pedal steel, finger-twisting licks, Nashville chords, funkily boot-scootin' bass, chords galore, damn near a fretboarded orchestra in blue jeans. If'n you don't laugh and even choke up a little when you find yourself in one of their down home lay-it-on-the-line ditties, JimBob, then you need to pull yer ears outten yer Nudies, 'cause the slice of life dragnet here cuts a wide swath, and the entire folky underbelly of the mid-West middle class gets the honest once-over.

Hey My Amigos countrifies Buffett in a heel kickin' roust that'll paste a big smile on your mug while reachin' for that flask of hooch under the car seat. Wanna hear the country verson of Bachman-Turner Overdrive blended with Red Sovine and Marshall Tucker? Listen to Let It Ride and remember the churning side of the old charts. And that, I think, is what makes this group. They've been around the block more than once, ain't no Gen Y spring chickens, and kept their ears open, missing nothing that could go into a potent upgrade to a solid niché in Americana, trotting every bar, stave, and measure around the cornfield until it arrives at the big city freeways, no longer Opie Taylor but the newer, tougher, worldlier cowboy who ain't forgotten his roots as he steps into a coupe de ville and floors the pedal to show the other side what it forgot.

Track List:

  • Poor House (Eaton, Cormier, Chisholm, Fernberg, Holden)
  • As Good as It Gets (Eaton, Cormier, Chisholm)
  • Fallin' in Love (Eaton, Chisholm, Cormier, Fernberg, Holden, Gouette)
  • You Don't Know Me (Eaton, Cormier, Chisholm, Eisner)
  • Better Days (Eaton, Cormier, Chisholm)
  • Hey My Amigos (Eaton, Cormier, Chisholm, Fernberg, Holden)
  • Let It Ride (Eaton, Cormier, Chisholm, Eisner)
  • It's Just a Little Rain (Eaton, Cormier, Chisholm, Eisner)
  • Phat & Happy (Eaton, Cormier, Chisholm, Eisner)
  • Bright Lights 'n Big City (Eaton, Cormier, Chisholm, Eisner)

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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