The Backsliders - Southern Lines
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Southern Lines (Mammoth, 1999)

The Backsliders

Reviewed by Andy Turner

Here they are drunk again, but this time around, The Backsliders soundless happy about it. After all, before this could be finished, lead singer Chip Robinson ended up a lone Backslider (he's since recruited new 'sliders).

Sure, there were sad songs on "Throwin' Rocks at the Moon," but the sound of the album was pure Buck Owens hip-shaking (different from ass-wigglin') honky tonk. The Eric Ambel-produced follow-up finds The Backsliders being a little less country, but the edgier/darker sound is by no means less rural. Songs like "It Rained on Monday" and "Two Candles" (about a man who won't do what he "oughter") are tender and raw Stax Records/Muscle Shoals slowgrooves, complete with a Hammond B-3 and Robinson sounding like EddieHinton, with less gruff and more twang. And there are still some verytwangy songs on this one like the Robinson/Steve Howell gem "The LonelyOne" and the lovely ode to slipping around, "Cross Your Heart." "Southern Lines" leaves the new Backsliders with something to live up to.

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