October 5, 2010

The SteelDrivers - Reckless (2010)

The bluegrass streak continues, and I am excited! The Quickcrit faithful are probably well aware of my bone-deep affinity for The SteelDrivers, and their new album "Reckless" is ridiculous. For those not familiar with The SteelDrivers I will say this band makes me want to read more, so I can have a better understanding of the English language and poetically describe their sound to strangers. I just said I want to read more people; let that sink in for a minute. This is one powerful force of a band. Chris Stapleton's vocals and songwriting is some of the best I've heard in years, in any genre, and the plucky banjo combined with the country-road fiddlin' is very simple, special and essential, all at the same time. There's something about bluegrass, especially The SteelDrivers, that reminds me of the basic things. Simple things that give me a shit-eating grin and a bounce in my step, even though they both don't come around an awful lot. But when they do, they can make your week. Few quick examples: using the word "chagrin" in a sentence, and hearing the phrase "Smith converts on 3rd down".* They both happen, but not nearly enough. This last example is somewhat abstract, but I felt obliged to mention it anyway. I live in a fairly metropolitan city, full of traffic jams, alarm clocks, tall buildings, and concrete. I must say it's easy to forget that the whole world does not look this way, and operate on deadlines, paperwork, and bus schedules. I am reminded of this reality by surprise twice a month when the street-sweepers push the leaves, and dirt into a gigantic pile next to where I park my car. When I leave for work at three in the morning I am hit with a big earthy smell, which instantly reminds me that the food I eat does not come from Safeway. The SteelDrivers hit me like that compost heap and wake my sleepwalking soul. They are like that jolt of earthy goodness that puts me at ease and a smile on my face. The whole album is great, but some songs that need to be checked out are "Where Rainbows Never Die", which is high in the runnings for my favorite song of 2010. Also listen to "Can You Run" and "You Put The Hurt On Me". Enjoy folks!

*Sorry to non-Niner fans who might not get the reference.


awmercy said...

I'm definitely going to have to check these guys out.