By: David Higdon
What is it about the great state of Texas that produces such strong songwriters? While they're generally not pioneering any new ground, the state continues to give birth to an ample stream of artists who end up singing their woes to the rest of the country. One could argue that it must be something in the water, but by the nature of the lyrics, it probably lies more in the Lone Star Beer that flows from their taps each day.
Naive (Smith Entertainment) is the fourth album by Austin-based Micky & the Motorcars, and it's definitely their slickest western rock approach to date. Led by principle songwriter Micky Braun (who penned eleven of the twelve rollicking tracks), Micky & the Motorcars have recorded a focused, well-paced album full of heartache, reminiscing, and electric guitars. Naive finds the quintet rocking within a contained fashion, but the hard-edged barroom feel does threaten to get away on "Grow Old;" however, the containing swirl of Bukka Allen's B3 organ blows in the edges and keeps this rocker on course.
The one track that doesn't bear Braun's signature is a near direct cover of Texas rocker Jon Dee Graham's "Twilight." While Micky doesn't have Graham's Tom Waits style growl, the band certainly has the attack, and they pull off a solid number that fits seamlessly within the track listing.
The pedal steel's added woe on "Long Enough To Leave" removes any sense of cliché, though for a band that averages over 200 gigs a year, this life on the road song was written with enough merit to never have to justify its sincerity. Besides, each Texas songwriter must write their own tale of life on the road - it's state law; some just have more miles than others.
JamBase | Texas
Go See Live Music!