Together nearly a decade, this Austin quartet is renowned for fusing energy with a near-fanatical devotion to Buck Owens's classic Bakersfield sound. While that worthy model had on past albums resulted in a surfeit of slav... more »ishly imitative tunes, Genuine marks a decided move forward. Buck-isms are still abundant, the continuing devotion reflected by their Tele-twang instrumental sound, Tony Villanueva's and Brian Hofeldt's vocals, a Bucked-up version of Jim Lauderdale's "The Way to My Heart," and a revival of the swirling Buckaroo instrumental "The Happy-Go-Lucky Guitar." But with longtime Randy Travis producer Kyle Lehning in charge, the band is beginning to reveal other facets clearly inspired by mid-'60s rock--even Buck himself loved the early Beatles. The stylistic changes are most apparent on the pulsating original "Scratch My Itch" and on "Whole Other World," a quintessential lament of the lonely, city-weary country boy. And closing with the acoustic bluegrass gospel of "The Wheel" is a positively inspired choice. Though "Love Me Some Elvis" is a banal tribute unworthy of their time, the rest is near perfection. --Rich Kienzle« less
Together nearly a decade, this Austin quartet is renowned for fusing energy with a near-fanatical devotion to Buck Owens's classic Bakersfield sound. While that worthy model had on past albums resulted in a surfeit of slavishly imitative tunes, Genuine marks a decided move forward. Buck-isms are still abundant, the continuing devotion reflected by their Tele-twang instrumental sound, Tony Villanueva's and Brian Hofeldt's vocals, a Bucked-up version of Jim Lauderdale's "The Way to My Heart," and a revival of the swirling Buckaroo instrumental "The Happy-Go-Lucky Guitar." But with longtime Randy Travis producer Kyle Lehning in charge, the band is beginning to reveal other facets clearly inspired by mid-'60s rock--even Buck himself loved the early Beatles. The stylistic changes are most apparent on the pulsating original "Scratch My Itch" and on "Whole Other World," a quintessential lament of the lonely, city-weary country boy. And closing with the acoustic bluegrass gospel of "The Wheel" is a positively inspired choice. Though "Love Me Some Elvis" is a banal tribute unworthy of their time, the rest is near perfection. --Rich Kienzle
I didn't particulary care for this recording or artists
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Sad turn for a great band
Michael Toland | Austin, TX USA | 04/29/2003
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This is a sad, sad album. The Derailers, one of the world's great honkytonk bands, get buried under slick Nashville production and hackwork songwriting. When the sessioneers outnumber the bandmembers, you know something's wrong, especially when your producer hires an extra drummer, an extra bassist, four extra guitarists and five extra harmony singers to handle positions the band itself is quite capable of doing themselves, and better than these so-called pros. Singer Tony Villanueva, one of the best in the business, sounds bored and disengaged from the material, and with complete (edited) like "I Love Me Some Elvis" on the docket, I don't blame him. His partner Brian Hofeldt, an excellent harmony singer and a bleeping GREAT guitarist, might as well not even be here, and given the audio evidence, he may not be.This record takes one of the most distinctive bands in country music and turns them into just another piece of product. Genuine? Not even close."
Great Music from a Great Band
PTD | Yukon, OK United States | 06/02/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love the mutliple influences and sounds of The Derailers. Genuine brings some new sounds - particularly "The Wheel" a lovely song. My other two favorites are "I Love Me Some Elvis" a fun tribute to the King and "Uncool" a fun social commentary that explains why I love The Dearilers, "I'll do my own thing and be uncool." I am glad they do their own thing and play some great refreshing music. I never thought that my dad who forced me to watch "Hee Haw" and I would both love the same band so much."
Derailers Are The Real "Genuine" Deal!
Wes Wheeler | Shelbyville, IL | 05/20/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In a world of predictable, cookie-cutter 'Country' music, The Derailers are breath of fresh air. By sticking to their musical roots (Buck Owens, Beatles) they have come up with a distinctive sound (a rarity these days) that kicks down the door and takes no prisoners. "Genuine" is the most fun you will have listening to a CD for years. There is not a 'fast-forward' song in the bunch and they concentrated on their 'strong suit' - upbeat, light-hearted Country-Rockabilly Bakersfield twang. The harmonies, clever lyrics, and infectious beat will stick in your head and have you driving faster than you realize. Even if Country Radio decides they are not 'worthy' to be played into the ground like the more popular artists of today, true music lovers will continue to appreciate The Derailers music. This is their finest effort yet. Take a listen and you will become an instant fan."
Continued evolution from Bakersfield-styled band
hyperbolium | Earth, USA | 04/17/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Having grown from Bakersfield roots on their first two albums, the Derailers began to mix in their mid-60s pop and rock influences with 1999's "Full Western Dress." Their jump to the Sony-owned Lucky Dog label for 2001's "Here Come the Derailers" furthered this direction, pairing them with producer Kyle Lehning, and augmenting the band's core instrumental abilities with select studio hands. "Genuine," their second effort for Lucky Dog, finds Lehning once again at the controls, and further explores the band's combination of honky-tonk twang and British Invasion chime.
The difficulty of creating a compelling hybrid, demonstrated by the career arcs of acts like The Mavericks and Dwight Yoakam, is complicated (in many Derailers fans' hearts, at least) by the band's early success with purer Bakersfield sounds. In contrast to the latin-tinged balladry of The Mavericks or the jazz influences Yoakam and producer Pete Anderson layered under their twang, the Derailers focus on '60s pop sounds, including surf-toned guitars, Roy Orbison styled weepers and Sunset Strip era rock.
At times this combination is a natural. One of the album's most successful tracks, "Scratch My Itch," mates the band's twangy roots with reverbed guitars, a Revolver-inflected melody and an Allman Brothers' guitar hook. The result is something the Smithereens might have come up with had they started in Texas, rather than New Jersey. Some of the other pop influences tread into overproduction. For example, the chorused vocals of "Genuine" sound as if Jeff Lynne got his say in the arrangement, and the bouncing guitar riff of "Take it Back" is more mindful of "Footloose" than the Buck-and-Don harmony and chiming 12-string guitar solo that make up the bulk of the track.
The album's production and arrangements are highly manicured, masking some of the band's innate kinetic energy. The album's Roy Orbison tribute slot is filled this time by "Alone With You," combining a fine vocal, superb, languorous steel playing, and strings that sound like synthesizers - the result never fully mounts the requisite heart-rending swell. Similarly, the ironic-yet-loving look at Elvis, "I Love Me Some Elvis," may work well in concert (where fans can cheer each element of the Cliff's Notes life story), but is banal on disc.
The band's Bakersfield roots are still to be heard in good quantity. Jim Lauderdale's "The Way to My Heart" feeds off of Villanueva and Hofeldt's harmony singing, and a remake of the Buckaroos instrumental "The Happy Go Lucky Guitar" captures the essence of the original with a surf twist. Villanueva's "Whole Other World" casts a jaundiced city-fried eye back to the comforts of the country home, "Leave a Message, Juanita" has a terrific Tex-Mex sound, and the closing gospel, "The Wheel," combines bluegrass instruments and country vocals.
Given the The Derailers' and Buck Owens' shared affinity for The Beatles and other '60s pop sounds, the band's continued evolution from heartfelt Bakersfield tribute to an original mix is, in a sense, the truest possible tribute to Owens. The change in their sound, initiated with Dave Alvin on "Full Western Dress," continues to be refined by producer Kyle Lehning. At times Lehning's work is a gentle nudge that could actually land the Derailers some commercial airplay, at other points however, his choices seem to bury the band's personality, exposing too little of The Derailers' considerable charms. There are some fine tracks here, but it's not yet the five-star album this band is so obviously capable of."
Pretty damn good
hyperbolium | 04/10/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As a music fan, I give this album a 4 because it is a good sounding, fun disc that won't be listened to once and tossed aside. "Uncool" is a great commentary about people in this day and age. If you like to sing along and dance around in your living room then pick this one up. However, as a hardcore Derailers fan, I have to rate it a 3 only because I don't like the direction they are taking. I got hooked on them because of their simply produced albums by Dave Alvin who knows how to capture the awesome energy the band has live onto their studio work. Kyle Lenning overproduces using too much fiddle, backing vocals, keyboards and effects that too often washes out the good old two guitars, bass, drums and pedal steel Bakersfield sound. I hope the band works with Dave Alvin again."