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The Road Hammers

Blood Sweat & Steel – 2008 (Montage)

Reviewed by Jacquilynne Schlesier

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CDs by The Road Hammers

In 2005, The Road Hammers marked their birth as a band with an album and a reality TV show. They won awards, sold platinum and spawned several radio hits in Canada. Naturally, they want to repeat the trick, this time breaking into the American market with another reality show ("The Road Hammers" on Great American Country) and an updated version of their debut.

There have been some changes - one main track and some unnecessary filler were dropped in favor of three new songs - but the message hasn't been altered. The Road Hammers explore the bond between truckers, touring musicians and anyone who works too hard and spends too much time away from the people they really love. The additions - "I've Got the Scars to Prove It", "I Don't Know When To Quit" and "Workin' Hard at Lovin' You" - aren't trucking songs, but they offer up a blue collar perspective on what makes life worth living that fits the overall theme.

Which isn't to suggest that this is all, or even mostly, about deep messages. With covers of classic trucking songs like "East Bound and Down" and "Girl on the Billboard" and plenty of guitar-driven fun, it's an easy, entertaining album. If you've already got the original, this might not be worth buying for just three new tracks, but if you don't, this second version is worth a first look.