Zoe Muth and The Lost High Rollers – Starlight Hotel
Barstool bard, Zoe Muth and her band The Lost High Rollers have returned with their sophomore album, Starlight Hotel. An album rife with the timeless sound of classic country music. Muth’s earthy vocals are backed by the lot of gifted musicians that make up The Lost High Rollers, who take their name from Townes Van Zandt’s “No Lonesome Tune.” Dave Harmonson’s pedal steel is expressive and pristine while Ethan Lawton’s mandolin tiptoes and dances around each note. Mike McDermott lends his expertise on the guitar as Greg Nies keeps beat on the drums.
Starlight Hotel is dry, witty and engaging with Muth taking writing credit for all of the album’s tracks. Every song just as good as the last, Muth connects with her listeners through relatable lyrics about bad boys, bad love and bad jobs.
The album begins with the vibrant marichi horns in “I’ve Been Gone,” which tells of a travelling woman who misses the company of her love back home. “Whatever’s Left” is a catchy little ditty asking for reassurance while in the honky-tonk ballads “Before the Night Is Gone” and “New Mexico” we find the relationship at its end. But, Muth’s character begins to slowly move on in “Let’s Just Be Friends for Tonight,”finding solace in the company of a man she met at the bar, but makes it clear she isn’t looking for “a new love unless it’s a true love/ So let’s just be friends for tonight.”
Muth’s plain-spoken and relatable lyrics are familiar in this time of hardships, hard work, and hard luck. In “Harvest Moon Blues” it’s lines like, “I was born to lose/ Nothing has really ever changed … I’ve never had a job worth keeping/ No I never had a dime to spare/ You know that old trouble’s been creeping up on my back stair/ I always feel lonely/ Even in the best of company” that can be heard in almost every bar across the nation. The dim “Tired Worker’s Song” has the hopeless and tired feeling that comes from working and struggling everyday to make life and love work.
But, the album’s highlight, “If I Can’t Trust You With a Quarter (How Can I Trust You With My Heart?),” is clever and sound advice – never start a relationship with someone who has poor taste in music. If everyone would take Muth’s sage advice, life would be less complicated. I only wish someone would have given me this common sensical advice sooner, it would have saved me a lot of time and effort, but then again, livin’ in the land of Bon Jovi and Kenny Chesney the pickin’s are slim.
Starlight Hotel is a solid album brimming with fine musicianship, excellent songwriting, and dusty country music, and with first listen you’ll find yourself moving into the Starlight Hotel with Zoe Muth and The Lost High Rollers.
— April Wolfe @ Common Folk Music
07 Zoe Muth And The Lost High Rollers – If I Can’t Trust You With A Quarter by commonfolkmusic