For the Good Times

My dad used to drive a 1969 Chevy pick-up truck. Bright blue with a white top and orange cab lights. And a gun rack. It was not unusual for there to be a whole passel of kids in the back, especially if we were headed to the swimming hole.

Two or three times each year, my dad would attach a tall, black metal frame to the bed, and we would take cattle to market. The whole family piled in the cab. The truck would sway back and forth like a ship at sea when the cows moved from one side to another. It was delightfully terrifying.

The am radio picked up WECO, the local station, and that was about it. The mountains were not friendly to radio signal. The country and bluegrass music that poured out of that radio (and the 8 track player my dad eventually installed) formed the soundtrack of my childhood…

This week I have had fun revisiting some of those songs on a fabulous new album by The Little Willies. For the Good Times has a very organic feel…like a few friends (extremely talented friends) got together in somebody’s living room and just started playing. And we have all been invited to eavesdrop.

Norah Jones and Richard Julian are exquisitely paired on Hank Williams’ Lovesick Blues. Their harmonies are so delicious I couldn’t bring myself to sing along the first four or five times I listened to it. (I have gotten past that. :))

I remember singing Dolly Parton’s Jolene as a little girl, before I completely understood all that the song was about. The haunting desperation of it captivated me. Jones’ vocals are warm and solid…and urgent. They make my heart hurt.

If You Got the Money Honey, I Got the Time is just about the most rip roarin’ pick up line ever. So. Much. Fun!

Foul Owl on the Prowl plops you down in the middle of a steamy, southern honky-tonk. I can almost hear the laughter, smell the sawdust and sweat, and see the sultry dancers strutting across the floor. Mmmm…

The guitar work on Diesel Smoke, Dangerous Curves is ridiculous! And the storytelling is brilliantly executed. Good, good stuff.

Remember Me, Permanently Lonely, and the titular For the Good Times make heartbreak poetic. And I have to say, I appreciate Jones and Julian leaving the third harmony part open for me. We wail a pretty mean lament…the three of us. 😉

Jones gives Loretta Lynn’s scrappy Fist City elegant sass.

Delia’s Gone is new to me. A surprisingly…frolicsome…homicidal ballad.

Good storytelling, superb musical artistry, and loads of fun. I have not been able to stop listening to it. I commend it to your attention. Enjoy.

You’re welcome. 🙂