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Mile Markers
Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash
Mile Markers
Genres: Country, Pop
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1

Mile Markers is just what the name says: a set of signs posted to guide the way home. . . or maybe point out the direction that has home in the rear view mirror. Set in the West, it rambles and wanders and aims the stee...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash
Title: Mile Markers
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Thirty Tigers
Original Release Date: 1/1/2005
Re-Release Date: 9/20/2005
Genres: Country, Pop
Styles: Roadhouse Country, Today's Country, Neotraditional
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 641444968626


Album Description
Mile Markers is just what the name says: a set of signs posted to guide the way home. . . or maybe point out the direction that has home in the rear view mirror. Set in the West, it rambles and wanders and aims the steering wheel out at the endless horizon. A halfways unfolded road map, it passes through Austin and Tucson and San Ysidro and Los Angeles, through the badlands of both South Dakota and New Mexico, from Oklahoma and the windy Panhandle country around Abilene all the way to Bakersfield and the San Joaquin Valley. But Mile Markers is a spiritual voyage as much as a mere travelogue, a set of tales that turns into a single song of journeying forth. It?s like a Western, in a way. It?s "The Searchers," or "Ride the High Country," or" High Plains Drifter." Or even"Two-Lane Blacktop" or "The Getaway," because it?s set in a contemporary West divided by white lines and asphalt, and settled by truckstops and parking lots. It?s a landscape of big skies and long roads and endless Mile Markers flying by at the edge of your vision. And like every true Western ever, contemporary or not, it?s a story of drifting and settling, of setting down roots and then having them torn up again, of learning that you don?t dare settle down when you?re just going to be forced to hit the road again. For Mark Stuart and the Bastard Sons, the last ten years has been a blur of miles and markers. BSOJC has played more shows most years than most bands do in their entire careers, and they?ve done it the hard way, piling their own gear into their own van, and then heading off into a dark night that?s just a couple of hours away from day. A lot of indie bands have done a lot of this, but not many have made the long haul across an entire decade. And amidst that grueling schedule, Stewart has managed to keep writing, delivering two previous records, Walk Alone and Distance Between, that built a hardcore fanbase for the band and yet achieved a critical recognition that most singer-songwriters would slit their left wrist to gain. It was an enviable position, as long as you didn?t have to do all the work that went with it.

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CD Reviews

S. Uhrich | Phoenix, Az. United States | 09/22/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"So are you tired, like me, of the overly produced, slick as a linoleum slate of endless pseudo country music dribble? Do you have a hard time telling one band or singer from another. Drones of clones... it just goes on and on. I threw out my radio a long time ago, my friends. They won't play these Bastards! And that is the shame of the state of the country music business today. Luckily, the "ALT - COUNTRY" music scene is saving the day, and these guys are at the top of my list for grit, power, emotion and steam. They are the musical equivalent of an 18 wheeled highway locomotive, the kind that leaves your windshield smoke stained with gasoline fumes as you follow them down that lost desert highway. You've got Johnny Cash playing at full volume. You could pass on by, but no, you're hooked on the diesel fumes, so you ride in their wake, cause they know where they're going and you want to get there too.
I love these guys. I've been following them since the late 90s, almost from the start, hitting every show they've done here in Phoenix. After the shows, I would talk to Mark Stuart and the band, listening to all their war stories about the road, the honky tonks, and the near collisions with both drivers and fame. Like the time they recorded in Johnny Cash's famed cabin, and the feeling he left behind there. They have his blessings and they'll need it, because you ain't gonna find a country DJ with the balls to say "Bastard Sons" on the air.
I truly didn't think they could top the eerie, mystical sounds of their last album, Distance Between (a masterpiece in sonic layers of emotion), but they did it here, with Mile Markers. All the tales I heard them tell of their woes on the road are celebrated in this masterful song cycle of true Americana. It's Route 66 in your ears! You can just smell the burning rubber and gasoline. Each song is like a much needed rest stop along the endless freeway, when you step out onto the pavement of a brightly lit truckstop and feel the breeze of our great nation blowing through your hair. My favorite is UNDER YOUR SPELL. You know what I'm talking about guys, that sultry waitress at the Diner, where you can't stand the food, but you keep coming back for another whiff of her seductive perfume.
KING OF THE WORLD and RADIO GIRL are gems that we should be hearing on the radio, politically incorrect band name or not. I want to hear this stuff blairing out somebody's car radio for a change, instead of that damned rap crap! YEAH!!! I want to hear it playing on the Juke Boxes clean across this here country. This is music that defines our country's heritage!
Mark Stuart is a prolific songwriter, with nearly as many unreleased songs in the vault as Neil Young himself. As a matter of fact him and old Neil are the only two guys left who can really write a good song any more.
So what's fifteen bucks for a trip down route 66, at today's gas prices, it's a bargain!!
Now go to your windows, stick your heads out and shout
San Diego Tribune and Des Mones City View reviews
T. Collier | 10/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Mature tales of life on the road and lost love as seen by Mark Stuart and the Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash through the windshield of a van carrying them through thousands of miles of desert highways abound on the alt-country outfit's third and finest album, "Mile Markers." The album's lead track, "Austin Nights," sets the pace for much of "Mile Markers" with a mesmerizing groove, touches of sweeping Spanish and steel guitars, an unforgettable melody and deft lyrics of wanderlust delivered by Stuart's trademark warm timbre. "King of the World" is a clever observation of the trials of maintaining a relationship while living on the road and "California Sky" is a touching tribute to the band's home state. These songs, and others, are as cool and arid as a moonlight drive through the desert and they resonate with hope as they travel through the great unknown."

Michael Swanger --
Des Moines City View

"Unwinding like a country road movie, "Mile Markers" offers twangy slices of Southwestern life. San Diego's favorite Bastard Sons take "The Road to Bakersfield" after spending an "Austin Night" with the character-conscious Texas singer-songwriters (Townes the drifter would've been proud). The Telecaster and steel-guitar sound is potent, but it's Mark Stuart's lived-in vocals that stand out, notably on the closing-time ballad "Are You Lonely Tonight?""

Mikel Toombs
San Diego Union Tribune"
#3, but still great
Jay Fuchs | Big D, Texas | 02/09/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"When I say #3 I mean the band's third release, but also their third best effort. This means that as good as Mile Markers is; their other 2 cd's are even better...

This band has 2 things going against them: 1 - They have a "shocking" name. I have never heard a BSOJC song on the radio and I think their band name is a reason why. It's definitely not because their music is too outrageous. If these guys were called The Mark Stuart Band, then they would blend right in with the modern, non-Nashville country scene and people would expect much less of them. Under the name Bastard Sons Of Johnny Cash people are expecting to hear something groundbreaking. That leads me to point #2. Their sound doesn't immediately stand out.

BSOJC play non-twangy country music with a dash of rock. You need to pay attention to them as you listen. Their songs will grow on you. I have been listening to their first release "Walk Alone" for 5 years and I like it more now than ever. "Mile Markers" has some true rockers on it like "Road To Bakersfield", "Night Comes Down" and "No Easy Road". "The Pride Of Abilene" is a real mellow one. Most songs are somewhere in the middle and have a real easy-to-listen-to feel to them. When listening to Mile Markers your mind stirs up thoughts of roadtrips, California & Texas traveling, small towns, truckstops, mass mileage, a little bit of lovin' and even loneliness.

One ironic aspect is that there are no Johnny Cash songs covered on any of the Bastard Sons' cd's. They don't even sound like him. Nor do they sing about him. In fact, the Man In Black is mentioned in only ONE song and that is "1970 Monte Carlo" on the "Distance Between" cd. If you ever get the opportunity to see these guys live (you should, they're always touring), then do it. It's a good show. And you would probably catch a Johnny Cash cover song or 2 when you see them play at a little honky-tonk near you.
- Jay in Texas

TexaCali Records