J.B. Beverley and the Wayward Drifters “Watch America Roll By” Helltrain
The fact that “Virginia’s hardcore honky tonkers” reference Johnny Cash and Hank Williams (and to a somewhat lesser degree Merle Haggard) on their myspace page doesn’t shock me because those names still have some level of cool factor in certain circles, but when they drop Jimmie Rodgers’ name, I know they’re serious about old country. They’re also serious enough to know you just can’t replace the sound of an upright bass. Luckily, they are not too serious to make a fun record.
Ultimately, that’s what “Watch America Roll By” is – fun. With songs about the road and women along the way, it’s not the deepest record you’re going to come across, but the songwriting is always competent (The music’s solid, too.). Still that’s a little beside the point because what this does best is put a smile on my face – especially on the upbeat opener “Interstate Blues” (which might make you think a little about Hank’s “Move It on Over”) and the goodbye song, “I Don’t Give a Damn” (whose chorus ends with “You can be sweet and be sorry baby, but I don’t give a damn.”).
It’s not an album I care to over think; I’d rather just enjoy it.