Tennessee-to-Texas transplant Lew Card is determined for you to have a good time. The spirited tone of his third album contrasts with the acoustic style of last year’s Low Country Hi-Fi, substituting keyboards and brass (the latter from the superb Tijuana TrainWreck Horns) for fiddle and dobro. The opening “Walkin’ Shoes Blues” brings to mind the daydream of Mungo Jerry’s “In the Summertime,” with a tempo that beckons the listener to strut down the street. Josh Vernier’s backbeat will have you bopping your head to “Baby Won’t Ya,” as Card beseeches a prospective mate, accompanied by fingerpicked acoustic guitar, electric piano and Doug Strahan’s tastefully rugged guitar solo.
The album’s themes span intimate pleasures (“Paradise” “Come On Up”) to broad social criticism (“Condo Town Rag”), stopping off at a claim for independence, “Do My Own Thing,” that brings to mind Charlie Robison. The horns add a moody touch to “30 Pieces,” with a dragging beat, dripping guitar and bird chirps that nod to the Beatles’ “Blue Jay Way.” The album’s ten originals are joined by a full throttle cover of Norman Blake’s “Southern Railroad Blues” stoked by Earl Poole Ball’s boogie-woogie piano and Strahan’s electric guitar. Fans of The Band, Commander Cody, the Neville Brothers,, Dr. John, Little Feat and Creedence Clearwater will certainly cotton to this album. [©2016 Hyperbolium]