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Confederate Railroad

Unleashed – 2001 (Audium)

Reviewed by Robert Loy

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CDs by Confederate Railroad

Confederate Railroad steamed into the depot of our consciousness with their first album back in 1992. Their dual specialty was humorous tunes like "Trashy Women" and "She Took It Like a Man" along with sentimental ballads like "Jesus and Mama" and "When You Leave That Way." It was always a thin line they walked, always in danger of careening into corniness or derailing into the ditch of mawkishness. And, it must be said, their engineering abilities were not as sure on some of their subsequent albums.

But now the Rebel Railroaders are back, and it just might signal a return to their glory days. "She Treats Her Body Like a Temple" (where they get some help from George Jones) and "White Trash With Money" are as funny as anything on their greatest hits CD. "Between the Rainbows and the Rain" and "What Brothers Do" satisfy one's minimum RDA of sentimentality without ODing on it.

Not every song works. "Still One Outlaw Left" gives the impression that rednecks are an endangered species, and on "The "R" Word" CR says they don't mind at all being called "knuckle-dragging inbred honkies" but strongly object to the perfectly good word "redneck," without really explaining why they find the term so offensive. Still, there's enough good stuff here to make "Unleashed" a CD to choo-choose.