Healthy White Baby

Healthy White Baby

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Given their pasts as part of the Blacks and Blue Mountain, you might think that Danny Black and Laurie Stirratt's new project would be another alt-country band. Think again. There's still just a touch of twang left in Healthy White Baby, but for the most part they've traded it in for a rocking garage punk stomp. Recorded at Black's house, the production is tough and lean with a no-frills guitar/bass/drums lineup and minimal overdubs (generally just another guitar). Black's guitars are loud and Stirratt even adds a little fuzz bass on a set of tunes that more often than not deal with love gone wrong (not surprising considering both were in bands with their exes). Sure there's some bitterness, but that kind of bile can give strength, too, and that's what comes across on Healthy White Baby. And it's not all bitterness and acrimony. There's a touching Bill Monroe cover, a bit of dark humor, and the album closes on a hopeful note with "Home." There's nothing especially earth-shattering or revelatory here, just another band armed with three chords and the truth: a formula that's served up great rock & roll for about 50 years.

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