The Derailers - Under The
Influence Of Buck
Review By: George
Peden, CSO Staff Journalist
you let out a long-winded groan, one along the lines of “What,
not another tribute album?” Wait up. This is no ordinary
get-rich musical scheme aimed at eager fans, hatched in an
upstairs record office off Music Row by suited moguls with the
bottom line as the only consideration.
What’s on offer here from The
Derailers is more, much more than that. This is a capital "T"
Tribute album. An album made by a group of renowned
Austinites who, like true fans, hold the memory of their hero
high. This is a tribute, a respected nod to a timeless
talent: Buck Owens.
Buck Owens, a main model for the
Bakersfield sound, died on March 25, 2006. His music, and many of
his hits, comes remembered on Under The Influence Of Buck. It’s
a 13 track homage to a music legend. The Derailers, proud, loud
and traditional, seldom stray too far from the familiar, but there
is enough distinctive subtlety to mark this as their own sound.
And what a sound. The twang
charged album is held secure with the drawling vocals of Brian
Hofeldt. Hofeldt, who took over main microphone duties when Tony
Villanueva moved on, is comfortable, melodic and captivating. And
as a long-time fan of Owens, Hofeldt delivers the known and mostly
remembered hits with a honky tonk flair that would make Buck
There’s no shying away from
the task The Derailers have set for themselves here. They deliver
with a big sound, showcased and carried with edgy guitars, wrapped
up in time-honored songs.
The 13 cuts all of which Buck
had a hand in, except for the Chuck Berry inclusion “Johnny B
Goode”, should make most fans happy, as many of Owens’ chart
climbers have been included. But, and there has to be a but, the
obvious is with so many hits, and Owens had 21 major hits, some
have been lost in the shuffle. But cuts like “Foolin’
Around,” the 1959 classic “I’ve Got A Tiger By The Tail”,
and the heart-pullin’ ache of “Cryin’ Time” will keep the
faithful hooked, while the lesser-known “Who’s Gonna Mow Your
Grass” will snare the curious. “Sam’s Place” a musical
image of a jumpin’ club (Buck owned the Crystal Palace in
Bakersfield) and the revealing tale of sort out fame and fortune,
found when you’re “Big In Vegas,” serve as history markers
to the life and times of a guy who took his name from a family
The guy with the distinctive
voice, wide hat and customary blue, red and white guitar has left
the stage. We miss him. But The Derailers have set about paying an
enthusiastic musical tribute to keep his memory alive.
Save the groan. They have
Get the album.
The Derailers: Brian Hofeldt
(lead guitar and vocals); Ed Edkins (guitars, vocals); Scott
Matthews (drums); Sweet Basil McJagger (piano and organ) and Chris
Schlotzhauer (Pedal steel, Dobro and vocals).
The album is out on Palo Duro
Records, produced by Brian Hofeldt.