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Tornados and Trailers – 1998 (Klow)

Reviewed by Brian Steinberg

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CDs by deadnecks

There might be something in the water down in Lexington, Ky. How else to explain the appeal of the deadnecks' album?

What should be cheery but forgettable bar-band takes on livin', lovin' and lyin' actually turns out to pack a little something extra. Nawlins piano, dry wit, crisp production and a rebel streak mix in well with affectionately creaky vocals reminiscent of Townes Van Zandt. The title track asks, essentially, why it always rains where the singer is standing, while "Crystal Marie" introduces you to the gang down at the bar - and the longing of a now-you-see-her-now-you-don't love affair. Which isn't to say the deadnecks offer anything revolutionary - unless a good time and a let's-just-play attitude are things that go against the grain. No one is breaking any ground here, and yet it really doesn't matter. You're supposed to dismiss a bunch of veteran musicians getting together for a go at the big time., You may not be able to in this case.