It's been a great year so far for under the (mainstream) radar honky tonk, with the likes of Dallas Wayne, Rex Hobart and the Misery Boys and the Hacienda Brothers - to name a few - turning out excellent efforts in the genre. You can add Dave Insley, a veteran of several Phoenix-area bands, including the Trophy Husbands, to that list.
But while honky tonk is the jumping off point for most of this, Insley and his supporting musicians incorporate bluegrass, rock, folk and other sounds for a nicely refreshing mix. Two songs ("Laid to Waste" and "Roy Boy") feature saxophonist Ted Belledin to entertaining effect. Rosie Flores, with whom Insley duets on the lovely "Maricopa Mountains," and Rick Shea, one of Dave Alvin's Guilty Men, are among the guest musicians lending their talents.
Given a chance on commercial radio, a song like the clever, catchy leadoff track, "There's Gonna Be a Few Changes," one of several songs from the album in heavy rotation on Sirius Satellite Radio's Outlaw Country station, could be a hit along the lines of Junior Brown's "My Wife Thinks You're Dead" or BR549's "Cherokee Boogie." Other highlights include "Gilded Cage," with Belledin on clarinet, and the goofy sad title track, which borrows it name and opening line from the popular Radney Foster song.