Americanoby Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers
Man, who said American roots rock is dead? You'd never know it by listening to Americano, the fourth issue by Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers. Clyne is a songwriter cut from the cloth that bore fellow Arizonans Green on Red's Dan Stuart and Chuck Prophet and is a direct descendent of John Mellencamp, but he rocks harder than all of them put together. Clyne tells tales that come from the archetypal myths of American life -- whether ordinary or legendary -- and aspires to imbue them with transcendent meaning. He doesn't seem to care if he succeeds; redemption lies in the attempt. In this way he is a kindred spirit to Steve Earle, but lays his cards on the rock side of the table and leaves country music to the Texan. Produced by Peter Lubin (producer of the late bluesman John Campbell and the Everly Brothers) and Dusty Wakeman -- who also commandeered Lucinda Williams' glorious self-titled Rough Trade debut and Sweet Old World albums -- the sound of the Peacemakers here is tough, lean, and immediate. Clyne uses just enough chords to keep his songs interesting and to convey the considerable emotion in his tales of hard-luck dreamers, wasted prophets, starry-eyed working stiffs, and losers who have no idea that they have. There are the steely chords of the title track, which is an outlaw's anthem of keeping ahead of the law and mortality for another day. Its companion piece is "I Don't Need Another Thrill," where a modern day gunslinging Dionysus beats the reaper and hangman's odds until he meets his match in a woman and willingly surrenders it all to be welcomed inside the palace of love. The macho posturing of the outlaw's creed melts into the desert sunset as he throws down his guns. "Switchblade" is the hard-luck tale of the perfect crime gone bad in Mexico. As accordions and acoustic guitars usher in the opening verse, Clyne sets his sights on telling his story without flinching, but he breaks after the electric guitars enter the fray and it becomes a ghost story -- the teller is a hollowed-out shell of a man who sings his song in order to accept what he cannot bring himself to. Ultimately, Americano reveals Clyne & the Peacemakers on their best effort yet; they are one of the very best rock & roll bands in a tradition that currently doesn't matter to corporate radio programmers. That's because Clyne and his band don't sell anything at all, not product, not trend, not genre, not glamour or style. Instead, they report, they dream, they mourn, they crash, and they burn careening across a razored skyline that ends down the American night with their hymns of cheap grace, harrowing laughter, and busted icons. The music they play is impure, dirty, raw, immediate, and larger than life, yet it comes squarely from its center; it's timeless, eternal, low down, and full of careless abandon and street smarts that take no one at his word but know the old truths remain for a reason. Americano is one fine album; it should be played at earsplitting volume in pool halls, bowling alleys, and backyard bashes and on college radio stations. It should blare from the CD players of fast cars roaring down empty highways under the stars and just before dawn. Indeed, it should be savored and celebrated by those swaggering street denizens known as the rock & roll faithful as proof that the good stuff never disappears.
- Release Date:
- Emma Java
Performance CreditsRoger Clyne & the Peacemakers Primary Artist
Gia Ciambotti Vocal Harmony
Skip Edwards Organ,Piano,Accordion,Keyboards
Dusty Wakeman Vocal Harmony
Lee Thornberg Trumpet
Roger Clyne Guitar,Vocals,Group Member
Steve Larson Guitar,Vocals,Group Member
P.H. Naffah Percussion,Drums,Vocals,Group Member
Danny White & Linda Nail Bass,Vocals,Group Member
Technical CreditsDusty Wakeman Producer
Peter Lubin Producer
Roger Clyne Composer
P.H. Naffah Engineer
Danny White & Linda Nail Engineer
Andy Hersey Composer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Although for an first-timers I would suggest Honky Tonk Union, this is an excellent new album from RCPM. It is decidedly more radio-friendly than Sonoran Hope and Madness, which may or may not be a good thing. (Sonoran Hope displays Roger's genius songwriting I think better than the other CDs- "Buffalo" is amazing, and just try to sing along with "Bury my Heart at the Trailer Park" after a few margaritas!) I also LOVE their live album, Reel to Reel, which captures the energy of one of their live shows. This is a truly great American band; see them live if you possibly can and try to get your hands on their other albums (try their website). The 2 Refreshments records are great too. My absolute favorite band.
Another great effort by Roger and the boys. I Don't Need Another Thrill would be a hit if radio stations gave it the air play. The story telling is excellent as usual and the range of musical styles ensures that there's something that everyone will enjoy.