Soldiers Of Love
Peden, CSO Staff Journalist
were many fans and industry observers who thought the worst.
Many figured when founding father Tony Villanueva left The
Derailers, well, the band would follow their moniker by jumping
the tracks and hitting the buffers. Wrong. Revamped and
organized, The Derailers return with Soldiers of Love.
back, Villanueva decided, after 11 long and road grueling years,
the time had come to move to more genteel pursuits away from
late-night honky tonks and loud crowds. More time with a growing
family, more time to spend on refining his songwriting. There
was also God. Born again, Villanueva felt a spiritual calling to
follow a path into the ministry. He did, finding a pastoral
calling in Texas. However, the band was not forsaken --
salvation came with co-founder Brian Hofeldt.
Derailer from day one, refocused after Villanueva’s split on
New Year’s Eve 2003 and decided to keep the band going. Now
with renewed energy, a front-line role as main vocalist and a
slew of new tunes, Hofeldt and his buddies come to this latest
venture pumped and primed. The new album is sure to claim fans,
both seasoned and new.
producer Buzz Cason, a 50-year music veteran at the console on
this the band’s seventh outing, the album fires with a blend
of rock, roll, and solid country. Throw in an instrumental for
balance and versatility, “Poppycock,” homage to the iconic
Man in Black on “An American Man,” and a raft of potential
hits in the waiting, and this stands tall as a memorable
While the masses
deliberate on how this stacks up to earlier album outings like Genuine,
the stellar Dave Alvin produced Reverb Deluxe, and
the dated (1996) personal favorite Live Tracks, there’s
enough musical integrity on Soldier of Love to keep the
ear attentive and the repeat finger active.
The album kick
starts with an ode to the genre: “Cold Beer, Hot Women” and
Cool Country Music”. Piano charged and guitar vibrant, the
track is a perfect opening for guys who prefer suits to denim,
and who proudly cite Buck as their driving influence. “She’s
A Lot Like Texas,” is a standout. It’s an infectious harmony
piece that once it bores deep is hard to shake loose. “Soldier
Of Love” is a retro-laced memory complete with do-wop harmony,
while “Hey, Valerie!” is a hard-pounded route to the dance
floor that would have Jerry Lee Lewis leading the parade. Other
tracks that gain quick attention include the reflective “Every
Time It Rains, the bop-driven chug chug of “Donna Sue Earline”
and the closing invitation to hoot and holler, “It’s Never
Too Late For A Party”.
Nothing in life
is certain. Change comes as a given promise. The Derailers move
on, minus their mainstay of many years, and they do it in a
committed and real fashion, barrelling their latest release with
enough to have fans, this one at least, rekindling earlier
The Derailers are
Brian Hofeldt on guitar and lead vocals, Ed Adkins on bass and
vocals, Sweet Basil McJagger on organ and piano, Scott Matthews
on drums, rounded out with Chris Schlotzhauer on pedal steel and
vocals. The generous 14 tracker is out on Palo Duro
Click on the CD cover to order yours!
Cold Beer, Hot Women & Cool Country Music
2: She’s A Lot Like Texas
3: Soldier Of Love
4: Donna Sue Earline
5: The One Before Me
6: Hey, Valerie !
7: Get ‘Er Done
9: Every Time It Rains
10: Everything I Believe In
11: An American Man
13: You’re Lookng At The Man
14: It’s Never Too Late For A Party
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