The Domino Kings - Life & 20
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Life & 20 (Slewfoot, 2000)

The Domino Kings

Reviewed by Joel Bernstein

Derailers fans going through withdrawal during the long wait for that group's next album should make a point to check out The Domino Kings. This Springfield, Mo. band may not quite be in the same league as yet, but they're playing much the same game, and they're playing it very well. That game is a mix of Bakersfield, rockabilly and honky-tonk musics dressed up in a variety of fine originals. Add in production from The Skeletons/The Morells member Lou Whitney (with a little honky-tonk piano from former Skeleton Kelly Brown), and fans of classic country have some new music to get excited about.

The album is packed with 14 original songs, and there's not a dud among them. The bulk of the material is uptempo, including real gems like "Deep And Black," "Don't Be Indifferent" and "Borrow A Lie," and that's the material on which the vocals are strongest. However, there are enough slower tunes, such as the title track (a classic-style murder ballad) to keep the album fresh. Too many highly regarded alt.-country albums have too little actual country music on them, but there's no shortage of the real thing on this disc. (877-723-1155, Box 390, Crane, MO 65633)

CDs by The Domino Kings

Some Kind of Sign, 2005

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