Lead singer and rhythm guitarist Buck Buchanan and the www.twang boys are back. This terrific Bozeman-area combo’s fourth album is packed with original country tunes from Buchanan and co-writers. He’s joined on the effort by Marcus Engstrom, electric guitars, Michael Gillan, drums, Russ Olsen, bass and vocals, and Mike Parsons, fiddle and vocals. Carol Buchanan adds harmony vocals to Buck’s lead on “A Fool with a Girl on His Mind.”
The band made a personnel change when two original members of the group, Sandy Dodge (pedal steel) and Johnny Regan (drums), retired due to health problems. But their twangy sound carries on.
The long-time dance band plays numbers to get you up on your feet. There’s a waltz with a sweet fiddle open (“Three Legged Dog”), and the loping “Trailer Park,” with its shifting, infectious beat. It’s about a man not too enamored with “hillbilly love.” Ha!
“The Latest Thing” is a Chuck Berry rocker that bemoans the plastic music coming out of Nashville these days. It features a tight, shuffly beat and cool fiddle. “High-Heeled Gals” starts with the ambience of bar noises and a distant old-time fiddle that grows louder and sets up an “Asleep at the Wheel” atmosphere.
The ballad, “Lookin’ for Someone New,” with Olsen singing lead, has a slowly rockin’ beat and nice harmonies. “Walk Away with Me” is an unhurried tender one with a unison riff to start. Engstrom plays a Fender Telecaster with reverb, delay, and tremolo to achieve that thick, deep “Bonanza” sound. Yow!
Parsons sings lead on the country-rock “Black Cadillac,” belting out some bluesy bent notes. And “Ball and Chain” sounds like a retro ’60s Roy Orbison pop-rocker with great duo harmony, and of course, lots of twangy guitar. After all, that’s the name of the game for these fellas!
– Mariss McTucker