The Way Goners

Kickin Up Dust

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Pure country delivered with a solid rock & roll kick, the debut album by New Orleans' Way Goners is a hoot and a half. Even beyond sardonic love songs like "Pill Poppin' Pistol Packin' Woman" and wry odes to country life like the instant road trip classic "Dry County Blues," there's a feeling of warm good humor and lack of self-seriousness throughout Kickin Up Dust. It's unsurprising, then, to learn that the album's producer is Dan Baird, former lead singer of the similarly loose and rockin' Georgia Satellites, but the Way Goners are more of a full-on honky tonk country act than those '80s bar-banders: tunes like the first single "When I Drink, I Cheat" are squarely in the Nashville tradition of songs that allow celebration and guilt over one's own bad behavior. More country than anything Garth Brooks and Toby Keith have done in their entire careers put together, Kickin Up Dust also rocks harder than either without resorting to the usual stadium rock clich├ęs.

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