Reckless Kelly,
Wicked Twisted Road
(Sugar Hill, 2005)

Wicked Twisted Road is an album of contrasts that works on all fronts. The publicity tells us that Reckless Kelly reined itself in a little on this CD and "didn't use every instrument hanging on the wall," and it sounds the better for it.

Opening with the title track, we enter Eagles territory -- and that is not given as a complaint. It is a beautiful song recalling life in episodes that will re-echo in many lives. A song that I particularly enjoyed is the story-song "Dogtown." You can feel the loneliness and the feeling of despair, but it is not a maudlin song.

"Seven Nights in Ireland" breaks the mold in that it moves away from Americana and into Black 47's turf, but then again maybe they are not so different. The band saddles up again for "Motel Cowboy Show" and they pick up the tempo to get those heeled boots tapping.

The faint of heart might avoid "Sixgun" as it gets up a good head of steam and, as they say in the notes, it sounds like "Tarantino with a guitar." Another song that struck me was "Nobody Haunts Me Like You." It is another wonderful story and the changing tempo adds to the atmosphere. The writing is strong and witty: "You're bitter and sweet as a death row last meal." "Broken Heart" is my top track of the 13 provided.

This is a great release from a band with lots to say and sing.

- Rambles
written by Nicky Rossiter
published 2 July 2005

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