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'52 Pickup

Saturday Rich And Sunday Poor – 2000 (Tomahawk)

Reviewed by Robert Loy

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CDs by '52 Pickup

'52 Pickup is not an antique truck or that infamous card game that every kid plays just once. What they are is a time machine. They will take you back to the 1950's. Back to the days before rockabilly went uptown. Back to the days when you didn't need drums to have an irresistible beat. Back to the days when musicianship was more important that male model looks.

But that's part of the magic of this Washington D.C.-based trio. They can make you nostalgic for an era you never experienced. Their first album is full of lost gold (including a couple classics from Mel Tillis and Johnny Cash), but the real standouts are the ones penned by vocalist Brian McGuire.

McGuire was obviously born too late. With very few exceptions - on "Can't Get Out of This Honky Tonk," the singer blames his toping not on a woman, but on the sorry state of the world ("Can't get out of this honky tonk/I can't face the world no more...People out there always fighting each other/If you don't get killed one way, it's another") - his themes (lust - "Strange Fascination," love - "You Got The Right Attitude," and heartbreak - "Too Much Me, Not Enough You") are as timeless as his riffs are rooted in country's golden age. A compelling combination. (2010 Storm Drive, Falls Church, VA 22043)