Even though the ageing is clearly audible in his voice, the traces of a one-time folk-rock luminary are just as evident on the brand new album by the ex-Beau Brummels frontman, Sal Valentino. In accordance with an arrangement like with the opening All The Places, the ageing actually contributes an additional punky grit, or even more usually, Dylan-ish growl.
Recorded in Austin, the album’s list of contributors includes a pair of fellow Texans, of which the first one is an ex-Explosive (Roky Erickson’s ‘70/’80s backing band), Freddie Steady Krc, who, besides twiddling the knobs, also wrote the folk-rocking New Day, with a LOVE-ly dimension brought in by Latino horns, and the just as 12-string-jangly Treasure Of The Orient, while the other one is Bill Lloyd whose For The Longest Time (co-written with Peter Case), seems like a pretty natural cover choice.
The names of the rest of the authors might ring a bell as well, with Jimmy Silva, contributing (besides the already mentioned opening cut) the country-ish pop Americana of Grease The Wheel, while Keith Sykes’ The Devil Is In The Courtyard is a piece of raw, laid back bluesy folk.
Of Sal’s own originals, most worthy of attention is Catherine I Do another recognizable Brit-invaded folk-rocking tune, that almost might be considered for an unreleased Brummels classic that never was, with the synth trumpet being the only detail, which might’ve been replaced for a harp or something, while the other two are the rockabilly, worthy of one Carl Perkins, of Lookin’ For You, and the darker, Dylan-ish folk-sounding title track.
Of course, this is not something that will surpass the Brummels’ stuff, but it can be safely put beside it on the shelf.
[Released by Fat Pete 2005]