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Various Artists

Bloodshot Six Pack to Go: Working Songs for the Drinking Class – 2015 (Bloodshot)

Reviewed by Robert Loy

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Chicago's Bloodshot Records recently turned 21, and like many of that age, they're celebrating with a six-pack. Not just any six-pack, but a special limited edition of six 7-inch records complete with a custom carton. Of course, all dedicated topers know that sometimes six is just not enough, so the first 500 orders get a bonus record, making for a somewhat cumbersome seven pack.

And make no mistake, this ain't your bro-country ice-cold light beer music either. No, this hardcore, truck-wrecking, bad decision-making, hangovers from hell music. You know the way it was back in the good old days of country music's golden age of adultery and alcoholism.

Although come to think of it, only a few of these songs would spark any glimmer of recognition among the troubadours of yore, like JP Harris and the Tough Choices "Drink Up and Be Somebody" and Dale Watson's "The Bottle Never Left Me Down" (complete with glug-glug sound effects that "White Lightnin'" era George Jones would have been proud to claim). No telling what Webb Pierce or Hank Thompson would make of Al Scorch's punk-rock bluegrass fusion on "Six Pack" or Elizabeth Cook's cover of the Dead Kennedys' "Too Drunk to Fuck," not to mention what Bobby Bare Sr. would make of Bobby Bare Jr. "One Bed, Two Girls, Three Bottles of Wine."

There are some moments where people are at least trying to quit drinking, as on The Yawpers' "Three Days Sober," and the standout track is Deer Tick's cover of The Pogues' "If I Should Fall From Grace With God." Which is odd because even though Shane MacGowan, who penned the song, is a legendary binge-drinker, this is the one song in this collection that doesn't even mention any kind of alcohol.

This is obviously being marketed to collectors. 35 bucks plus shipping is a lot to pay for 6 (or maybe 7) 45's - not to mention the cost of equipment if you haven't already joined the vinyl revival. It does come with a digital download link, but it might be nice if that option were available to those of us without turntables.