With the new year comes a look at this album, a fine record deserving of notice.
The influences here are wide and varied, and the Derailers manage to mix them to put together a fine batch of tunes. Lead guitarist Brian Hofeldt is equally adept at twangy guitars on cuts like “Alone With You” as he is on ’60s garage rockers like “Scratch My Itch.”
And he covers a lot of ground in between. The very funny “I Love Me Some Elvis” features a fun, half-assed Memphis guitar thing that’s as much fun as the lyrics and music it quotes. Buck Owens and Don Rich are an obvious influence on this band, and proof lies in a cover of “The Happy Go Lucky Guitar.”
There’s pretty good help here, too. Bryan Sutton adds mandolin to a couple of cuts, and Brent Mason and J.T. Corenflos help out on the six-strings.
Vocalist Tony Villanueva’s not afraid to let his Buck show through either. At times, it sounds like the Bakersfield country hero is being channeled by Villanueva. In fact, that Bakersfield thing mixes with a ’60s rock edge that really gives this one its own unique feel. This band is one of those groups that should be around a long while. The quality shines through in the songs and the players.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s April ’04 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.