Buck Edwards shoots from the hip
We don't get a whole lot of cowboy-hat country in Portland — Travis James Humphrey would be an exception — so Buck Edwards is something of an enigma. Is his twangy, '50s-style rockabilly and pop country completely on the level?
On the surface, songs like "Call a Cowboy" ("he'll always do what's right . . . to get you through the night") are delivered with a straight face and full heart. But when you have three tracks on one disc with "redneck" in the title, you have to wonder if we're in Jeff Foxworthy territory here.
Edwards walks a fine line. "Redneck Paradise" doesn't go over the top at all (as, say, Paranoid Social Club's "White Trash" does), and a place where "there's beer in the cooler and meat on the grill/Enough for my buddies and a few more still" doesn't sound all that unappealing.
Edwards is helped by the studio talent that backed him while at Acadia Recording. Eddie Dickhaut (East Wave Radio, and a number of other local projects) is a talented drummer that sets up a fine swing, and Dale Holden of the McCarthys on pedal steel, Andrew Russell (WOW, the Molenes) on bass, and Pip Walter (the Piners) on lap steel and backing vocals are all pop-country-rock veterans who know what they're doing.
This stuff is a little goofy, and intentionally corny, but it works because Edwards is clearly having a blast and is actually believable, even if he's got to be taking the piss. I'm positive I hear him stifle a chuckle at times.
LOADED GUN | Released by Buck Edwards | at Bayside Bowl, in Portland | Jan 22 | buckedwards.com
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