McKay Brothers - Cold Beer & Hot Tamales
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Cold Beer & Hot Tamales (Medina River, 2006)

McKay Brothers

Reviewed by Stuart Munro

The McKay Brothers play a brand of Texas honky-tonk with a potent undercurrent of rock 'n' twang and a mix of styles that's built upon a foundation of great songwriting. Assisted by the production and steel/Dobro work of Lloyd Maines, the brothers prove themselves masters of the hard shuffling groove and the snarling guitar with takes such as "Lock and Key," "Bottle of Fire" - which takes its inspiration from George Jones' fabled lawn tractor exploits - and "Silicone Baby," a song that skillfully mixes the personal and philosophical in considering the implications and consequences of artificial enhancement.

To that basic template, they add a bit of Cajun vibe ("Port Artúr), stone country ballads (the forlorn "A Warmer Place to Sleep") and slow moaners (the tongue-in-cheek "Bandera Style"), some serious Tex-Mex ("Texas Heart, Mexican Soul"), acoustic country ("7th Day" and "Spirit Bird," a gorgeous depiction of desert encounters with the divine) and loping country rock ("The Disappearing Texas"). If you're a fan of bands such as 10 City Run, The Hollisters and the great Leroi Brothers, you'll love the McKay Brothers. (POB 2808, Banera, TX 78003)

CDs by McKay Brothers

Cold Beer & Hot Tamales, 2006

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