Fans of the Chris Hillman/Gram Parsons version of the Flying Burrito Brothers will latch onto this. Though the Marley gang is a bit lighter, you hear Gibson Brothers influence on “Love And Happiness For You,” where producer Jack Clemet gets Grady Martin-style acoustic lead from Mike Phelan and lovely lines from pedal-steel player Eddie Littlefield, Jr., who provides a great deal of the album’s character, while the tragic-comic relief of “Poor Old Dirt Farmer” is helped by his Levon-Helm-ish delivery. But when keyboardist Jerry Fletcher returns to sing the easygoing Western swing of “Should I Be Singing The Blues,” it’s obvious his voice and style are a major part of the band’s appeal. It works well in the bluegrass/rockabilly blend exemplified by “Got Leavin’ On Her Mind,” enhanced by the simple, twangy beauty of Phelan’s electric baritone solo.
Other high points include “Travelin’ Teardrop Blues,” co-written by guest guitarist Shawn Camp, Willis Alan Ramsey’s “Goodbye To Old Missoula,” and a wonderful reading of John Hartford’s “Here I Am In Love Again.” And a pair of tunes by Dan Wheetman – “Light In The Forest” and “Don’t We All Feel Like That” – are influenced by Cajun rumba and serve as another showcase for Fletcher’s mellow vocals and Clement’s understated production.
This article originally appeared in VG’s Jul. ’10 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.