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The new era of the Tyburn Ballad, with Alabama 3 the new balladeers
reappraising British outlaw culture and relocating it alongside the
Hole in the Wall Gang, The James Gang and every great gang to have ever
ridden rough shod through our imagination and mythology.
Released 2005 on One Little Indian
- Last Train To Mashville
- Terra Firma Cowboy Blues
- Keep Your Shades On! mp3 player
- Hello... I'm Johnny Cash mp3 player
- Up Above My Head mp3 player
- Adrenaline (feat. MC Tunes)
- Have You Seen Bruce Richard Reynolds?(feat. Bruce Reynolds)
- Honey In The Rock (feat.Devlin Love)
- How Can I Protect You (feat. Aslan)
- Let It Slide
- The Gospel Train mp3 player
The theme tune from the Sopranos and some incendiary performances should really have catapulted these Brixton boys to national attention, but pop's own outlaw gang (reputedly formed in rehab) remain in a file marked Best Kept Secret. Their fourth album illustrates their schtick: Hank Williams goes acid house, and stars in a real-life Trainspotting on the way.
Alabama 3's world is one of missed last trains to Nashville, "shades" at breakfast, blurred lines between religious devotion and a lack of abstinence, and pseudonyms like The Very Reverend Dr D Wayne Love. However, beneath the pathos and irony, they are quietly becoming fabulous lyricists, able to set a scene in a single line. Always top drawer songwriters, the mythologising Hello ... I'm Johnny Cash and Up Above My Head are among the best in their canon. It's difficult to see what else they can do to become widely-loved except perform in every living room across the nation, which given their record of infamy shouldn't be ruled out.
These Brixton musical outlaws sound like they ram-raided Nashville and escaped with all the loot. First you notice the Wild West in their rollicking music, then there's the hints of techno and hip-hop, then you realise that they bring all back home to England.The album was inspired by meeting between vocalist Larry Love (aka Rob Spragg) and Great Train Robbery mastermind Bruce Reynolds. Incredibly the supercriminal is cast as a Western desperado in Have You Seen Bruce Richard Reynolds and even adds his own vocal cameo to the track.
This album is a wonderful addition to their canon. Worth it for the tribute-cum-pisstake Hello...I'm Johnny Cash alone.
Fifth album from Brixton bluegrass techno renegades.
Larry Love (Rob Spragg) and co have been peddling their lysergic-charged country electronica since the mid 90's. Their latest [album] has fully-fledged songs with plump beats and swooning chorus lines. In the US tradition of outlaw records, they've concocted a ballad of The Great Train Robbery called "Have You Seen Bruce Richard Reynolds ?" They sing of outsiders-teenage runaways, freebasers, those in rehab and skipping bail-all with Love's laconic, dry, grainy inflection. There's even a fitting tribute to the dark star of country music in "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash". Sounding like a cross between ZZ Top and Bob Dylan circa Nashville Skylin, this is Alabama 3's most fully formed offering so far.
Soon after the choo-choo leaves the station, the electro-gospel sounds of Larry Love and The Very Reverend Dr. D. Wayne Love kick in. Reminiscent of "the last train to transcentral" by the KLF if they were fronted by a cowboy from Brixton town, "last train to mashville" (geddit?) is a cracking start to what promises to be one of the albums of the summer.
Quickly followed up by the bassbin-thumping country of "terra firma cowboy blues", there hasnt been a country music song this wonderful since Ween's "12 Golden Country Greats" album (and before that, it was all about Dolly Parton) - and then it hits me... new single... could this get any more country? "hello....I'm Johnny Cash".. a fitting tribute to the legend, with slide guitars, a cash-like slide geetar, and probably more references to The Man In Black's life's work than is probably healthy. But what a song! I could sit here and listen to this song on repeat all night, and still not get bored. It's worth buying the album for this one song alone. The fact there are 11 more tracks of cracking tunes is just a bonus.
Johnny would be proud. I hope Larry and D. Wayne are just as proud of this album as well.
They've done dance music fused with country and taken a slanted look at Americana while sending it up with their trademark Stetsons. Their new album, titled Outlaw, couldn't be more aptly named.
Outlaw is the most country album they've produced and yet it's a concept album looking at British version of America's hard men.
"With all this general election stuff going on we need a few outlaws to sort out the bad guys" says Larry Love through his whisky addled larynx.
For me Outlaw is the best album they've produced. They haven't tried to muddle everything together in the hope it works, they've gone for clean sounds and it comes out of the mix as a brilliant piece of work.