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Jackson Taylor and the Sinners

Let the Bad Times Roll – 2011 (Smith)

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

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CDs by Jackson Taylor and the Sinners

Texas country rockers Jackson Taylor and the Sinners deliver an abundance of hard edge outlaw country, a touch of traditional country and some right wing politics in their latest release.

A reverence for the '70s outlaw movement is displayed with effective covers of Billy Joe Shaver's Ain't No God In Mexico and Rodney Crowell's I Ain't Living Long Like This, both also famously covered by legendary outlaw Waylon Jennings. The influence of Jennings is also heard in Taylor's original Boys In The Band. Taylor shows an appreciation for the pre-outlaw era with an inspired bluesy rendition of the David Houston hit Almost Persuaded and pays tribute to George Jones on No Show.

A pair of Taylor originals reveal an apparent affinity for Tea Party politics. Old Henry Rifle complains of high taxes and government intrusion ("So take your hands out of my pockets/Don't try to tell me how to live"), while the title track contains snippets of some of Rev. Jeremiah Wright's controversial rants and refers to flag burners and Ivy leaguers. The latter also seems to allude to former senate candidate Sharron Angle's "2nd amendment remedies" ("Remember though when it comes to blows/ It won't be no politician who throws/It'll be some hard old boys/Who know how to lock and load").

Though some may be put off by the politics the strong performances and stellar musicianship, particularly by steel guitarist Dan Johnson and lead guitarist Bryant Hunter, make this an impressive effort.