Nineteen Wheels

Six Ways From Sunday

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In the mid-'90s, Nineteen Wheels made a name for themselves as one of the premier live acts in East Lansing, MI. With the area garnering national attention thanks to the success of native sons the Verve Pipe, Nineteen Wheels released Six Ways From Sunday in 1997. The album is considerably more country-influenced than might be expected from a group from Michigan, but the trio pulls it off with twangy guitars and a few tracks that feature healthy doses of accordion and dobro. "Country Girl" and "Starlight" open the album and are enjoyable, although not stunning, alternative country numbers in the vein of Whiskeytown and the Jayhawks. "Colorado" and "13 Seconds to Burn" are straight-up rockers that are by far the strongest tracks on the album. The album closes with two slowly strummed ballads ("Disconnected" and "Last Card Down") that are both catchy and plaintive. The band maintains a muscular, tight sound throughout, thanks in large part to superb bass and drum work. The rhythm section members steal the show on their share of tracks, but guitarist Scott Owens and Chris Johnston's vocals are given time to shine as well. Six Ways From Sunday doesn't break any new ground sonically, but that's beside the point. Nineteen Wheels isn't in the business of reinventing the wheel, they're simply interested in making well-crafted roots rock and power pop, and they succeed more often than not.

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