Lonesome Strangers

Land of Opportunity

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From the jaunty opening track, "And It Hurts," to the norteño rendering of the Louvin Brothers' gem "I Don't Believe You've Met My Baby" that closes the set, the Lonesome Strangers demonstrate that they just might be the closest country music will ever get to a reincarnation of the Delmore Brothers. Capturing the same fun and wild abandon of that early hillbilly boogie, Jeff Rymes and Randy Weeks could easily be mistaken for one of the great brother duos, melding their nasal voices seamlessly. Just listen to the backwoods treatment and vitality they inject into the winded, but still spooky classic "Tobacco Road." Rymes and Weeks' style is based in country and roots rock, but they also have a great pop sense, writing songs with a Buddy Holly-esque flair such as "Sharon," which sounds like something Holly might have thrown the Everly Brothers' way. Other highlights include the swampy, tremolo-drenched "Ton of Shame" and the cheerful, dance-inspiring "Ramblin' Around." Guitar ace and Little Dog founder/president Pete Anderson produced this ten-song collection, and his band backs the duo solidly, with musical touches that include some tasty Hammond B-3.

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