Arty Hill and The Long Gone Daddies – Montgomery On My Mind (The Hank EP)- Cow Island Records (media)
Arty Hill and The Long Gone Daddies – Coming to a Honky-tonk near you!
Arty and the boys work out of the Baltimore Maryland Honky-tonks and are as good a reason as I can imagine for adding a night out In Baltimore to the things to do before I die list. Thankfully the rest of the world seem to be catching on to his smooth, actuate and soulful take on the Honky-Tonk idiom. The Long Gone Daddys are beginning to set the woods on fire out with their own back yard, and maybe just maybe they will be more on the road than at home in coming years. I predict this homage to Hank Williams will tend these growing embers nicely and as welcome by product, will tend to tend the eternal flame of Luke the Drifter legacy with an uncomnon love and an even more uncommon consummate skill.
Arty has been in the business of keeping country real for 4 or 5 years now, two solo albums and now three full band recordings, the last two of these on the credibility oozing Cow Island Music Label.
His first for Cow Island, “Bar Of Gold” reached number one in the world-wide free form broadcasters chart and seemed to stay there half the year (a chart I like to think of as the modern eqivelent of the jukebox chart) and was rightfully voted album of the the year by this venerable band of what I lovingly describe as “fellow obsessives who have got the a foot stuck firmly in the door of mass media-ocrity for good music. ”
A skilled songwriter as well as immaculate country stylist “Montgomery On My Mind The Hank EP” shows both sides of Artys creativity clearly, 8 songs 5 Hank covers and 3 self penned on a Hank Williams theme. Track 1 Church on Saturday Night alludes to age old dichotomy of raising hell on a Saturday and atoning to heaven on Sunday morning, and bows in reverence to The Oprey stars of the 50’s with Hank at the head of this top table. Then like a live performance an album needs light and shade, a shuffle tune is always a great way to picks up the pace, no better than a train song shuffle tune, and was there ever a better train song than Hanks Pan American? This version steaming along with a dobro washed, telecaster copped, fiddling full fire in its belly “feel that southern breaze” indeed. OK a sad song next its got to be, and its a killer I Can’t Help It If I Still In Love With You its always been a killer song and its lovingly recreated with more the soul of Jim Reeves than the cutting passion of Hank Williams truth be told, (Ide like to hear Arty turn his crooners spotlight on Jim sometime) the band play exactly what’s wanted, no more no less than that and thats a skill in it self, the song is allowed to shine through, and what a song. I think that’s a big part of Artys appeal he delivers the song first and foremost, the frills are I suspect saved for his shirt and jacket. Next the boys deliver the song that they draw the name from, Long Gone Daddy in a swinging, just behind the beat, dance hall style, that would fill the floor of a morgue. Next, in time honoured fashion, the steel mans feature, Dave Giegerich taking front and centre with Dons Bop a tribute to Don Helms of The Drifting Cowboys who provided the signature sound on over 100 Hank Williams recordings, the biggest hit of them all Love Sick Blues, and that’s up next (well you have to play the hits don’t you?) and Arty can yodell with the best of them to, real nice Arty, real nice! Followed by an other dance floor filling honky tonk stomp and an unusual take on Hanks next biggest hit and most covered song Take These Chains From My Heart .
The last song is an Arty Hill tune summing up this sweet collection, in a suitably melancholy fashion with the title track Montgomery On My Mind a lovelorn ballad delivered with as much reverence for an unnamed lost love, that he might display if standing, Stetson cupped against his heart, at Hanks graveside saying goodbye to the man himself.
If music be the food of love, then Hank Williams took the biscuit, and who better that Arty to dunk it in the gravy .
Need I say more? Here’s where to buy it CD Baby , you’ll thank me.
Heres Arty and the boys at Work, with Working Mans Blues.
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