The Whole Enchilada
Luna Chica Records
This is some of the purest “old country” sound I’ve come across in years. Riding high above the perfect music is the crooning voice of Carlton Moody, who sounds just a bit like Willie Nelson, but without the obligatory “rode hard and put away wet” scratch in the vocals. Propping him up is a perfect blend of steel guitar, mandolin and drums, played by musicians with wonderful names like “Sneaky” Pete Kleinow and Jeff “Stick” Davis. They’ve also got a guy named Garth Hudson, formerly of the Band.
There’s a wonderful selection of songs here; some original, such as “Sister” and “Woman Like You,” and some covers of lesser known great tunes like “I Got Gold” and “The Letter.” When “I Got Gold” kicked in, I was back listening to the old WGN Barn dance, and I don’t even particularity like the sound. Later we get a gospel song done with a subtly evil sound, “Ezekiel’s Wheel.” It’s a mystical vision, brought down to earth just enough to scare you into the pew on Sunday.
Don’t be put off by the vaguely seedy looking cover. This band is solid gold through and through, and they don’t even wear those dopey hats. There’s enough Cajun and hillbilly to counteract the cowpoke look we see so much of. And I’m happy to say these dudes do NOT cheat and head into rock and roll land. Country like this can save the genre.
Luna Chica Records: www.lunachicarecords.com