All it takes is 3 chords and a dream!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Review: Earl Musick - Duck & Cover

Earl Musick - Duck & Cover
2007, Reload Record Company

The first thing that will strike you about Fort Worth, Texas’ Earl Musick is what an amazing story teller he is. In his gruff and somewhat limited (but wonderfully textured and interesting) voice, Musick brings people and places to life in song. On his fifth album, Duck & Cover, Musick finds a musical aesthetic that encompasses Classic/Southern Rock Blues and Americana. Duck & Cover opens with the Southern Rock/Rhythm & Blues mix of Had Enough. The song is very danceable with distinctive hooks. Our Own Way combines a low-key vocal delivery with a great working class Americana arrangement. Here that we begin to see Musick's yarn-spinning gift in its truest form; almost as if watching a movie in song. All Wrapped Up is an ode to a hard working father using powerful imagery for death and life. This is perhaps the most deft lyric work on the album and is very well written overall.

Musick steps back to the honky-tonk for Razz-a-ma-tazz. This has an old-time variety show feel to it and is the lightest moment on the album. Burrough's Blues starts with the premise that the grass is always greener and shows how much worse they can really get; it's a great story-song set in a Blues/Rock arrangement you'll have on replay. Earl Musick marches us through a few more story songs (Molly and Beadreaux; I Got You; She Loved The Devil Out Of Me) on the way to Darlina. Darlina is the perfect closer for Duck & Cover, a high energy mix of Country and Rhythm & Blues with some of the best honky-tonk piano you'll find in or out of Nashville.

Duck & Cover is ultimately entertaining, painted in hues both stark and subtle. Earl Musick has a real gift for not just telling a story but imprinting it on the listener. You'll walk away from the album feeling like these songs aren't just an hour's entertainment but have somehow become a part of your consciousness. The classic mixes of Country, Rock, Blues and 1960's R&B complete the musical picture. Earl Musick is too good and too varied to get significant attention from the Country radio establishment, and is just a bit too down-home for Rock radio. The internet and satellite Americana stations may come calling, but with dwindling numbers it seems like that Earl Musick is destined to be under-represented in the marketplace. That's a shame, because talent like this doesn't come along all that often.

Rating: 4 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Earl Musick at You can purchase a copy of Duck & Cover as either a CD or MP3 at

No comments: