Blackie and the Rodeo Kings
Even though I took pleasure in the better moments of Let’s Frolic, I was still completely shocked to encounter wafting and slithering slow-grooving country rhythms lurking behind the Lucha Libre masks fronting the album cover. Maybe it’s me, as I had no prior knowledge of the Canadian trio or their previous albums, but with an album cover like this I was expecting more top-of-the-rope and high-flying tunes to come busting out at me.
The 14 tracks on this 2006 release are many things, but especially, a laid-back battered and bruised blues-folk collection with the occasional gritty blues guitar number (“That’s What I Like” and “Buried in Your Heart”) flavored by undercurrents of psychedelic Americana fused with gospelesque and religious imagery.
Had I known prior to listening that Colin Linden (producer/vocals/guitars) had previously contributed tracks to the Coen brothers film Intolerable Cruelty and O Brother Where Art Thou? then I would’ve been somewhat prepared. But what actually ended up happening wasn’t anything that pinned my mug to the mat or dazzled me like a Lucha Libre luchador. What ensued was an unexpected slide guitar-soaking of sanctifying sorrow meshed with a blues-flavored gospel, seeking to melodically medicate the redemption-seeking listener up off the barroom floor and deem the trio of lonesome hearts on the album’s cover as accidental frolicking musical evangelists.
Rodeo Kings: www.rodeokings.com