Confederate Railroad

Unleashed

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In some parts of the world, it's always 1974. The deaths of Berry Oakley and Duane Allman still sting, Waylon Jennings and Jerry Jeff Walker are revered, shouts of "Free Bird"!!! at concerts aren't meant ironically, and people still remember who the Marshall Tucker Band were. It's a simpler, better place, and there, Confederate Railroad are superstars. On their fifth album, the unreconstructed country-rockers plow through songs like the sassy "She Treats Her Body Like a Temple" ("and I treat mine like a honky-tonk," continues lead singer Danny Shirley) and the self-explanatory story-song "White Trash With Money," with all the twangy guitars, honky tonk piano, and keening steel guitar that are required for a good country-rockin' time. David Allan Coe and George Jones drop by to lend a further air of outlaw country bad-assedness, and the group even throws in an honest to goodness ballad, the touching "Between the Rainbows and the Rain," to prove that it's not just a bunch of retro-macho poseurs. Good stuff.

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