New, Hidden Americana Gems From Philly, Nashville And The Ozarks

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Desoto Rust

Too many records, too many records, too many records. Sometimes Lonesome, Onry and Mean just has to take a deep breath, swallow hard and admit we can never give a fair listen to all the stuff that shows up in the mailbox. And since we seldom do actual album reviews in print anymore, we occasionally get guilt pangs about records we feel something should have be said about on the public record. So, here's a bit of makeup.

Desoto Rust, Highway Gothic: These Philadelphia bar-band rockers work that territory around Springsteen and Marah. The last thing a Texan expects is a down-home jam about San Angelo by a bunch of Yankees, but these guys really nail it. Two road songs, "Open Road" and "Northern Road," rock it heartland-hard like John Mellencamp in the Cougar days. LOM's got nothing but good to say about Desoto Rust and Highway Gothic. This one stays in the truck!

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Charlotte Park Rangers, Charlotte Park Rangers: LOM likes us some country soul, and when Richard Ferreira and Carlton Moody (Burrito Deluxe) lean into songs like "Little Bird Has Gone," memories of the earliest Levon Helm vocals flood in like the Mississippi spilling over the levees and wreaking havoc on Iowa. Both men have that country ache in their voices and it only doubles when they harmonize on tunes like "I Want To Get Lost." Ferreira, who played guitar for Lucinda Williams for years, came on our radar with his incredible sleeper 2002 album Somewhereville. He's still on our radar.

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Big Smith, Roots, Shoots, and Wings: OK, let's cut to the chase: There just aren't enough songs about overalls anymore. Our favorite Missouri Ozarks crazoids take care of that national deficit right out of the box with the infectious "My Overalls Don't Fit Me Anymore." "So I bought me a suit made of seersucker/ You should've seen those city girls come a-runnin' / My overalls don't fit me anymore." Not only do these guys have a great knack for nouveau hillbilly lyrics, they can flail the strings with all comers. This one is nothing but cool.

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