Brash backwoods sonsabitches Ned Van Go (Ned Hill and raucous compeers) bore right through yer earholes the moment Lost in the Trouble starts up and cranks into things…which is to say: one second into the git-go. Equal parts Kentucky Headhunters, Georgia Satellites, Raging Slab, Black Oak Arkansas, alt-bluegrass hombres, drunken John Prine, Root Boy Slim, pissed-off Charlie Daniels, Ted Nugent, and The Hooters, the band isn't interested in a gig with the Los Angeles Symphony, no; instead, they'd prefer a hog waller beside a moonshine still with Daisy Mae cavorting in them thar fetching cut-offs and overful blouse. Take a gander at the song titles following this review, and you'll get the sense of it.
The recording itself is as rough and boozy as the music, intriguingly engineered by Michael Webb, and damned if'n Dan Baird doesn't show up to sit in. That guy's getting ever heavier into this kind of gig. Screw the terrible cover art, though—damned thing looks like something the old skinflint Bongwater label woulda pooted out in five minutes (cheating the artist in the deal)—'cause it indicates nothing. This band shoulda had a Lynyrd Skynrd graphic work-up crossed with James Montgomery's old LP art. Listen to the heavy but hilarious 1000 Dollar Car and see why…and, no, I haven't a clue what they're singing about in the cut, as I drive around in nothing but Bentleys and Ferraris. All critics do, don't they?, unlike these frolicking ex-patriated sonic dirt famers!
Lost in the Trouble is as much swaggery swozzled good times as it is driving kick-ass rock and roll with, surprisingy, some injections of cynical balladry. Drunk Like Shane McGowan is another example of that sort of thing, much slicker and cleverer than it at first seems but without ever losing the rough side. The disc in whole has much in common with a broad swath of Americana musics old and new without ever ending up quite like any of them. Grows on ya like a motherfucker, too. So, if you're not exactly thrilled by the staid niceties of Springsteen, got tired of hearing Petty for the umpteen billionth time on the damned radio, am not too sure whether Mellencamp shoulda joined the Archies or taken up acting lessons with Leonardo DiCaprio, and ya kinda like a good deal of hardtack humor with your music, Lost in the Trouble is the blue plate special, y'all.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
Website design by David N. Pyles