Come Cry With Me
One of the many reasons I love Country music, is the wry humour that is mixed in with the tales of divorce, drinking and heartache – George Jones and Tammy Wynette’s records together being a perfect example.
On this album, Romano’s dry black humour made me laugh out loud several times, but that isn’t the only reason I love it. Lyrically, musically and vocally, the whole thing is a treat and the stories are inspired little vignettes of everyday tragedy.
If this was simply parody, I wouldn’t bother writing about it, but it isn’t. There is great craft and skill on show here.
Country music is about songs. If the songs are no good, then no amount of hats, boots and Nudie suits can disguise that. This guy can write.
That’s The Very Moment is hilarious. Man wakes up happy, knowing he’s going to spend time with his true love today. He combs his hair and goes downstairs to wait for the phone to ring. You just know it isn’t going to ring, but by now you’re hooked.
He casually decides to pop round to her place to surprise her.
Big, big mistake.
I won’t spoil it, but, well, his true love hasn’t exactly baked him a cake.
It’s a tragi-comic episode that not only highlights his story-telling abilities, but shows Daniel Romano can also sing. The way he delivers “…tenderly” on the punch-line is fantastic.
Middle Child is an incredibly witty tale of a middle child, now living at the bottom of a whisky bottle, put up for adoption by a mother he can barely remember, who, by letter, he discovers is now dead.
The chorus is great:
Mama please tell me why
You would leave just me behind
You sent me off and then you went and had my brothers
Before me, a little girl
And they’re the center of your world
Mama tell me why’d you leave the middle child?
Just Between You and Me, describes the guilty feelings of a man and woman who ran off together, leaving her husband and child behind.
“…between you and me there’s a man who gave you that ring.”
Alternating the lead vocals between male and female is a cool touch, and enhances the classic ballad feel.
He Lets Her Memory Go (Wild) would fit well with a Tarantino scene or a David Lynch episode. It has a reverbed, twisted whammy-bar sadness that is perverse and glorious.
I happen to love the 1970s Country music that is referenced by Daniel Romano, so really enjoy the twangy telecaster bites and sweetening whirls of the string arrangements.
Julie Doiron, Misha Bower, Dallas Good and Tamara Lindeman handle the backing vocals, with some beautiful pedal steel from Aaron Goldstein. Natalie Walker’s fiddle also helps the album achieve its lovely rich sound.
Chicken Bill and When I Was Abroad are worth mentioning too, both having twists in their tales and A New Love (Can Be Found) is a genuine jukebox classic, that will give hope to the loneliest of love’s casualties.
I’ve put a lot of long hours into bar-room research, and know many people who have spent their lives trying to avoid (or relive) the pain of a broken heart or broken marriage and there is always plenty of wit with the misery.
Quite often, humour is the best antidote to life’s troubles, and this collection of songs reflects that.
Country music has found a new voice.
Copyright © 2013 William Henry Prince.