Tons Of Steel: Vegas
Peden, CSO Staff Journalist
of the better acts to land in my CD player in ages is the
Texas-based Two Tons of Steel. These guys crank. And they do it
with a steel-driven sound, propped by tight harmony and electric
energy. Currently enjoying wide and varied chart placements, Two
Tons Of Steel is a band with a history and a catalog. They also
have a measure of fame well regarded in the Lone Star State.
However, this latest album, Vegas, may just be the honey
pot to draw even further-a-field interest.
guys will possibly on first listen spark comparisons to memories
of the original Derailers. But with their unique brand of twang
and foot-stomping revelry -- a source of enjoyment to fans who’ve
been to a summer “Two Ton Tuesday” in the last decade at the
oldest dance palace in Texas, Gruene Hall -- these guys make their
own original noise. And they do it without the need for cloning.
recorded history is impressive. Apart from this debut on Palo Duro
Records, the boys – Kevin Geil on guitar, Dennis Fallon on
guitar and harmonica, Ric Ramirez on upright bass, Denny Matthis
on steel and Dobro, with Chris Dodds on drums – have recorded
the helm production wise on Vegas is Lloyd Maines. With the
Grammy Award-winning producer onboard, and with a swag of six Geil
tunes, the 11 tune set comes fully charged. Also, there’s two
standout covers for good measure. “Secret Agent Man,”
remembered as a hit for Johnny Rivers, is, well, an interesting
inclusion. But it works. So does the fan favorite by The Ramones,
“I Wanna Be Sedated”. For a band who took their name in homage
to Geil’s restored vintage (1956) hardtop Cadillac, it’s easy
to hear why TTOS can draw thousands to their gigs. (Soon, fans
will be able to relive the excitement, as the guys are taking
orders for a live CD and DVD at their website).
like “Unglued”, a plugged-in and amped-up free-for-all,
telling of potent attraction best caught in the lines: ‘There’s
pictures of us…I’d rather not discuss” has the boys laying
down rocky riffs that keenly identifies their trademark
Countrybilly sound. Listen, too, for “Can’t Stay With You”.
Misery never sounded better on the melodic ode to fading love. “Baby
You Got Me”, the flip side of the love coin, has Geil oozing on
a bed of slapped bass, steel and relaxed sentiment. “Vegas”,
the well-worn radio favorite, a track inspired by Geil’s wife’s
love of LA, sits comfortably with “Drive You Home Tonight”.
handbrake comes momentarily applied with the balladry of “Havana
Moon”. The tune has become a band trademark with fans. Written
after a 1997 Cuban trip, a trip that saw TTOS perform at the
National Theatre, it became a group first. TTOS was the only
American band to perform there in over 30 years. The tune also
cemented the band’s popularity by its prominence on Americana
shades of everything real about rock’n’roll, paired to the
sensibilities of country, mixed into a twang blend of
thigh-slapping enjoyment, these guys are hot to trot and easily
claim a nod as a band to watch. Many of my friends on hearing this
album reckon it’s the year’s best CD. It’s a big call.
The CD Now!
Official Site: www.twotons.com
2. Drive You Home Tonight
3. Your Kiss
5. Can’t Stay With You
6. Havana Moon
7. Secret Agent Man
8. Ice Cream Man
9. Baby You Got Me
10. I Wanna Be Sedated
11. Red Hot
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