Dave Kusworth

Wives, Weddings & Roses

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Dave Kusworth & the Bounty Hunters' Wives, Weddings & Roses is like everything Dave Kusworth ever does. A tear-stained meeting of Johnny Thunders' "You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory," the Rolling Stones' "Wild Horses," and Neil Young's "Down by the River" wrapped in scarves, bound up in leather pants, and shrouded by cigarette smoke. Kusworth, both on his own, with the Bounty Hunters, and with pal Nikki Sudden in the Jacobites, is a doomed romantic headed for a broken heart and destined to wear it on his sleeve. The songs on Wives, Weddings & Roses are heartbreak songs through and through but they never drag you down because Kusworth understands that the best way to get over a broken heart is to don the scarves and rock it like your heroes did. So rock he does, even on the numerous ballads. The mood is pure late-night tour bus, black-and-white warehouse jams, weary gunfighters and JD-soaked melancholia. Easy to do wrong (see Bon Jovi or Guns N' Roses) but when it is done right like it is here there is no finer rock & roll. Like Thin Lizzy or early-'70s Stones or even some Allmans, this is epic music made by dudes who believe in the power of rock & roll to fix broken hearts and change lives irrevocably. That it is such a small-scale classic of an album that almost no one on earth has heard makes it both a crushing disappointment and a soaring triumph. If you believe in the rock like Bobby Gillespie does, like Chris Robinson does, like Dave Kusworth does, if you believe that there is no better sound in the world than an acoustic guitar strumming sad chords while an electric lead weeps along over the top, if you believe that a good singing voice only gets in the way of true expression, if you believe all these things then you need to seek this and every other Kusworth record out. He will be your new hero. Yours and the ten other people who worship at the temple of Kusworth. (As a bonus, the CD version of the album is mastered from a scratchy copy of the record and it contains three more tracks; the desperately sweet "The Kiss That Cut You in Half" and demo versions of two of Kusworth's best tunes: "It Only Happens with Her" and "Everything's for Her" both of which, taken together, are the perfect summation of everything that is wonderful about Dave Kusworth.)

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