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Cheap Thrills 

Confederate Railroad


Release date: April 24, 2007

The Deal: Hard drivin' country-rockin' mavericks cover old-school classics.

The Good: This is real dangerous country -- the kind you'd expect from good ole boys who backed up a couple of real tough guys -- Johnny Paycheck and David Allen Coe. It's bottle bustin', fuck or fight music. If you prefer the latter, check out the opener, Johnny Paycheck's going-to-prison song "11 Months + 29 Days." If you prefer the former, you can curl up with something semi-sweet while Confederate Railroad's original singer, Danny Shirley, croons the mushy '70s ballad "Please Come to Boston." Billy Jo Shaver's "Honky-Tonk Heroes" is a bit on the quiet side as well at first but quickly turns up the volume with a fast-paced dose of rattly country funk. There's enough steel behind Shirley's vocals to let you know he's the real deal, a true honky-tonk hero. The rest is done in the style you'd expect from the guys who gave you "Trashy Women," as in "I like my women a little on the trashy side" hard hittin' honk, from Alan Jackson's "Don't Rock the Jukebox" to Hank Sr.'s "Whiskey On Ice," delivered by a rowdy bunch who sound like they live the life they sing about.

The Bad: If they still sound this good doing covers, it would be great to hear what they sound like as themselves these days.

The Verdict: Get it now. These covers are soon gonna be as famous as the originals.

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