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Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash

Distance Between – 2002 (Ultimatum Music)

Reviewed by Brian Baker

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CDs by Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash

Considering all the genres that the Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash have successfully pushed around - country, roots, pop, soul - the title of their sophomore album couldn't be more appropriate.

BSOJC actually tones down the style hopping that characterized last year's raucous debut, "Walk Alone," as the band becomes less concerned with parading their genres around and instead attempts to link them.

BSOJC still retains a powerful contemporary Bakersfield ethic as filtered through the Alvin brothers; the band's spin on "Long Black Veil" plays out like a collaboration between Bruce Springsteen and Lyle Lovett, while the shimmering melancholy of "Tears of Gold" could be a lost Paul Brady Irish country soul weeper. And just so no one forgets how Neil Young and Steve Earle have effected the roots rock genre, BSOJC illustrate a full right hand spin on the volume knob for "Wind It Up" and "Damage Is Done." Those Bastards have done it again.