It seems alt.-country bands find their groove - twang, roots, swing or what have you - stick to it and enjoy their nice little niche. Give Cash Monies and the Jetsetter credit for stretching beyond any one single style and making it work. This Boston-based quartet has followed to an extent in the footsteps of the Thompson Brothers, another band from the Northeast that offered up some sweet country rock harmonies without forgoing the bar-band grit.
Yet these guys aren't some Jason & the Scorchers cover band. Their latest 12-song album, produced by ex-Georgia Satellite Dan Baird, melds bare-knuckle lyrics with fiery picking that blazes a trail seldom seen in country - alt. or otherwise. Singer-guitarist Jim Gaddis, lead guitarist Barry Edwards, bassist Scott Cormier and drummer Dave Baker are just as comfortable shuffling through a reminiscence of the Civil War days on "Cemetery Hill" as they are with a stubborn southern rocker like "Get it on the Way," which dusts anything Montgomery Gentry are playing these days.
Gaddis is the glue making it all stick, though give plenty of credit to his band for backing him in a variety of styles. Gaddis, however, deftly glides from balladeer to a twangy, beer-soaked flat-out kickin' country crooner. He's at one moment Steve Earle, then Gram Parsons and even offers a Buddy Holly-like twang. Sure the lyrics are a little raunchy, and Gaddis isn't polished like a Kenny Chesney, but these guys offer something fresh, yet familiar. And, they do it with a lot of character.