Mike Cullison Roadhouse Rambler
Roadhouse Rambler is a short album to fill the gap between Mike’s last full length album and his next planned album, Barstool Monologue, a Canterbury Tales of the honky tonk clubs where Mike Cullison has long plied his musical trade. There is enough in Roadhouse Rambler to suggest that Barstool Monologue will be very much in the same vein, because these songs very much see life from a barroom perspective. With titles like Whiskey Memory, Drinkin’ Songs and Red Headed Woman, I think you’ll get the general picture. Priding himself on making country music like it used to be, Mike’s songs feel like they could have been written at any time in the last forty years or so. In fact I just realised that Roadhouse Rambler puts me in mind of a treasured cassette I have called, simply, “Drinkin’ Songs” and published in 1974.
Red Headed Woman is an excursion into some swampy blues, whilst the accordion on Who Turned You Loose adds a soupcon of cajun to the atmosphere, but the core sound is regular honky tonk style: the piano and steel guitar is instantly recognisable, the sort of sound that appears on film soundtracks as an instant clue as to what kind of bar you’re seeing on screen. The words have a humane good humour to them and, in its way, this is comfort music to wash away the cares of the day; he might be singing about heartache and whiskey soaked blues but the familiarity of the music seems to share the pain around and therefore make it bearable. We’re all in it together, bro’.
Mike’s vocals are pretty straightforward, regular bloke-ish whilst a generous provision of sidemen make for plenty of entertainment along the way, everything from fiddle to dobro popping up at some point. Fans of classic country music will feel right at home with Mike Cullison and, unless the hint of a honky-tonk brings you out in hives, I think you’ll find Roadhouse Rambler very amiable company.
Interview with Mike Cullison Here http://flyinshoes.ning.com/profiles/blogs/honky-tonker-mike-cullison-answers-the-questions-and-we-sample-th