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Design By Humans
Published On: Wed, Dec 24th, 2014

Billy Robert and the Rough Riders: The Last of the Originals

billy robertsBilly Robert and the Rough Riders
The Last of the Originals
(self-released)

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Australian artist Billy Robert and his band, the Rough Riders (Billy Anderson and Ed Glass), offer up a country-rock jangle of 10 fine tunes on The Last of the Originals. Starting with “Mrs. Jones,” a laid-back, talking-vocal ditty of loud, high-end guitar and plinking piano; it’s apparent we are in the capable hands of a songwriter with a wry sensibility playing with a band big on musical economy. “My Baby Gone Cold” sees an even more studied piano from Roberts on a more straight-ahead country tune, while “With You” floats and swings, a mandolin leading it all off.
A more serious “House of the Rising Sun”-like plucking mixes with Robert’s talking on “Never Know.” It’s a perfect center piece to the album with some nice slide, then big loud lead for a counterpart. The fun, nasty lyrics to “No More Mr. Nice Guy” is a fine example of country at its snipe-est with harmonica, in-the-pocket simple snare and subtle lead playing. The fiddle-led “I Was Young” lays a nice harmony vocal, easy base vibe and the fiddle. Counterpart dramatic echoey guitar are evident on the equally “Davy Crockett and the Alamo,” a pure story song, and maybe the best here. I like the switch-up of tempo and the heavy rockin’ mid-way. Things pick up speed and really get your toe tappin’ with a fiddle throughout that sails all the way to the jam-out at the end. The tom-tastic, unrelenting low jumble of “Red Head Baby” ends.

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Billy Robert and the Rough Riders: The Last of the Originals