Red Simpson

Truck Drivin' Fool

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    8
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This album's title serves as fair warning that it's thematically limited, being devoted -- like Simpson's debut LP, Roll, Truck, Roll -- entirely to songs about trucks, driving them, and the truckdriver lifestyle. Yet it's not as much of a novelty, or a novelty that wears out its welcome within a few songs, as you might think. For Simpson's palette might be limited, but he's the master of what he knows, singing with matter-of-fact, droll conviction about the hazards, sadness, and ennui (and not so much the joys) of literally being on the road. Also, the backing and arrangements are crisp and first-class '60s honky tonk-ish country, and while there is pathos in Simpson's subject matter, he never mines it so shamelessly that he stoops to the self-pitying or unconsciously self-satirical. The musical mood is varied, too, from the "Hot Rod Lincoln"-like jitteriness of "Diesel Smoke, Dangerous Curves" and the proud title track to sincere wistful ballads.

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