Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Review -- BALL and CHAIN & the WRECKERS -- Live At The Bayou

Ball and Chain & the Wreckers
If you are a country music purist you have to be interested in any CD that starts out with a rendition of Marty Robbins classic Devil Woman, and that is just how Ball and Chain & the Wreckers lead in to Live At The Bayou, the third CD release for this Ontario group.
This is a fat effort with 18 songs, so you get a full helping of classic country, including Hank Williams' Lovesick Blues and Fool About You, Steve Earle's Graveyard Shift and a pile of other material, almost all of it familiar.
The songs are belted out by Michael Ball and Jody Benjamin. Ball has the better of the voices, although Benjamin's works in harmony pieces. When left to take centre stage, like on the aforementioned Devil Woman, you are left wanting just a bit more. Recorded live at The Bayou Blues and Jazz Club in Ottawa even the applause is a subdued here.
There is some nice fiddle by Jordan Officer on cuts such as Mamou Two Step.
I am sure if they were alive my father, or grandfather would be shaking their heads that I didn't give this a higher score. However, it's not because of the music, I enjoy a lot of older country, it's simply a case where Ball and Chain don't offer enough in the way of unique presentation to really catch my attention.
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-- Reviews first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Aug. 22, 2007 - Yorkton, SK. Canada

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