Bonnie Blue

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The first release in the wake of the demise of country-rockers Dirtball, Wes, and Jyl Freed are joined by a cast of friends in creating an eclectic set of down-home Americana. With small-town losers and illegally brewed beverages to spare, the set largely rests on a balance of banjo and fiddle stringband stomp and bluesy Southern rock, which, if not entirely inventive, is a consistently quality product. The moods created are generally uneasy and slightly ominous, perfectly matching Wes Freed's spooky outsider art that dominates the CD artwork. Still, despite the occasional devilish steel guitar squeal, some undeniably blue collar virtues come through the back porch singalong of "We Won't Break the Circle" and the call and response "Devil's X," which incidentally sounds as if it is intended to be some sort of commercial jingle for a redneck bar. Ultimately, it is that honesty which makes Bonnie Blue succeed on its own merits.

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