For more than a decade, Bill Noonan was the singer, songwriter, guitarist, and bandleader of the Rank Outsiders, a roots band that built a loyal local following before calling it quits in 2002. On his second album as a solo act, Noonan covers a lot of territory with the same vintage approach that made the Outsiders a force to be reckoned with. The album opens with the twang-heavy "Road 99," a hard-rocking rockabilly-flavored truck-stop anthem that sounds like it could have been cut any time between 1949 and 2009. The spooky love song "Lonesome Blues" also features a twang-drenched guitar and Noonan's growling, haunted vocal. "Down Again" is a sweaty jam that's as greasy as a plate of roadhouse hash. The piano of Jason Atkins adds to the authentic honky tonk atmosphere. "Wasn't Meant 2 B" sounds like a Tom Petty outtake, and may be the strongest tune on the album, a nasty rocker full of attitude and heartache. The title track is a bleary-eyed country ballad full of gloomy anguish. On the acoustic side, Noonan delivers Gene Clark's "Tried So Hard" as a bluegrass ballad and "Ramblin' Boy Blues," which closes the album, as a traditional country blues. Noonan is backed by Jon Thornton's muted trumpet and his own ragged acoustic until the rest of the band jumps in for the last rousing chorus. Noonan breaks out of the roots bag for "Dirty Ragged Blanket," a tune that's steeped in Memphis soul and neo-doo wop. Noonan's vocal here is his most compelling.
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AllMusic Review by AllMusic