Pioneer Music Group
OK, let’s get the inevitable comparisons out of the way right off the bat. Yes, they do sound a lot like the subdudes. How could they not? With Tommy Malone’s distinctive, soulful voice (one of the few white boys to ever have the nuts to cover an Al Green tune, and the ability to do it justice), his smooth, fluid, razor-sharp slide guitar grooves and hooks, you can take the boy outta the `dudes, but you can’t take the `dudes outta the boy.
Tommy and ex `dudes bassist Johnny Ray Allen were the primary songwriters for the `dudes, and are just as well represented here. The themes on the songs are much the same as you would’ve heard with the `dudes, songs of love, longing, redemption, and escape to a simpler place or time, either physically or mentally. (Hence the lower case “tiny town” moniker ) There are some apparent differences. Pat Laughlin’s voice is more akin to Malone’s, resulting in a little more “brotherly” sound than that of predecessor John Magnie. The percussion of Kenneth Blevins fills a little more space than tambourine-totin’ Steve Amadee did. (Blevins played with Malone in the pre-subdudes New Orleans based Continental Drifters).
This band, like its predecessor, is known for the energy that it is able to generate with their live shows. Producer and ex-Eagle Bernie Leadon recognized this, and in an effort to capture that energy, recorded them “live” in a big old studio, much the way Glyn Johns did with the Stones, Zeppelin, the Who, and the early Eagles recordings. They were able to nail nine of the thirteen cuts on the first take. This record also has a quality that some of the Band’s and Little Feat’s work had, in that some of these cuts can take on a whole different personality depending on the volume you play it at. What might sound like a light little pop tune in the background, can turn into all-out funky rocker with a simple the turn of the wrist. Check out the Little Feat flavored “Follow You Home” and
Malone’s burnin, groovin, guitar work on “Don’t Let Time Run Out on You.” Lament ye not the demise of the subdudes. Pioneer Music Group, P.O. Box 682163, Franklin, TN 37068, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.tinytownpmg.com