Phil Pritchett

Tougher Than the Rest

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Although Phil Pritchett's Tougher Than The Rest is nominally a country album, it's closer in spirit and sound to the punk-influenced "insurgent country" of the Bloodshot Records crew than to Music Row. The Austin native and his two-person backing crew the Full Band kick up a tough racket even on ballads like "God Save the King" (a sad but slyly funny shaggy dog story about meeting an incognito Elvis Presley as the lead singer of Pritchett's opening act) and a respectful but fiery version of the Little Feat truck driver standard "Willin'." But it's on full-on country-rockers like the opening barnburner, "Doesn't Make a Difference," that Pritchett is at his best, tossing off great sardonic one-liners set to rollicking, rockabilly-inflected guitar riffs. Tougher Than the Rest is enjoyably unpretentious country-rock and tremendous fun.

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