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Trent Summar & The New Row Mob - Horseshoes & Hand Grenades
Review By: George Peden, CSO Staff Journalist

Let’s not waste words. I love this CD. Trent Summar, a good ol’ boy from Tennessee, is a hard-rockin’, energized singer and songwriter claiming attention from the first chord on his latest Palo Duro release, Horseshoes and Hand Grenades. And across these 11 tracks, he keeps a driving energy and vocal charm that doesn’t quit. He calls it Farm Rock.

Farm Rock it may be, but for the adventurous Summar, who hit our musical radar in 2000 with his self-titled debut, the label wears an element of violation and bravery. I mean who would dare crunge up the George Jones classic “He Stopped Loving Her Today”? Summar and his rowdy New Row Mob do. But once you move beyond “Hello, what’s happening here?” the track is a curious and interesting add to the ear-pleasing fare on offer.

Rather than a criticism, it’s an intended complement to the confidence and willingness of a guy with a notable claim to his own writing royalties. Summar has written tunes for Pat Green, Gary Allen, and Jack Ingram to name a couple. Some remembered tunes by Billy Currington (“She Knows What To Do With A Saturday Night”), Gary Allan (“Guy’s Like Me”) and a former chart placement for Ingram, “Love You”, are all welcomed on the album’s playlist. 

“I’m just a country boy with Daddy’s guitar; they’re trying to put an end to guys like me” wails bad boy Summar on “Guy’s Like Me”. We hope not. Summar and his spirited and credentialed band -- Dan Baird (Georgia Satellites) and Michael “Supe” Granda (Ozark Mountain Daredevils) form an integral part -- is an unrelenting rocker in well-worn boots. There lies his appeal. He rides the divide between rock’s frenzied energy and country’s mellowed message of lovin’, losin’ and leavin’. And it’s a mix that skirts and weaves the alt-country and redneck landscape, leaving you pleased with your purchase, and inspiration for your mouse to head to Amazon to find Summar’s earlier releases.

A major plus on this album is Summar entertains. He pushes the tunes to a pleasing place, courtesy of his obvious enthusiasm and his twang-dripped drawl. Tracks like “She Knows What To Do With A Saturday Night”, “Hayride” and the infectious rocker, “Louisville Nashville Line”, all showcase a guy with a keen ear for what works.

And what works across this album is the subtle but sharp humor showing up on some of the tracks. Take the radio cut, “Horseshoes and Hand Grenades”. It’s the telling tale of a barroom Romeo who wins the heart and mind of a local good looker. Almost. “I was this close” tell the lyrics, as the lady love returns the advances by quickly giving over her phone number. Romeo rings, only to discover the number belongs to a guy named Dave. “Really Never Loved Her Anyway” is redneck reality when it tells in the opening bars, “If there ain’t at least 10 beer cans in your front yard, if there ain’t one good dent in your car...” while agricultural love comes keenly explored in “Pink John Deere” and for stylish diversity and contrast listen out for home-grown honesty on “Supposed To Do”. 

Trent and his boys are one loaded and locked outfit, driving home the sounds that keep a Saturday night jukebox jumping. If you haven’t heard of the band, then point and click and search You Tube. You’ll find some live music there. Make that lively music.

Love the music. Love the band. Love the energy. For my money, three out of three scores a bulls-eye. 

A must buy.


Click on the CD cover 
to order yours!

1. Horseshoes & Hand Grenades 
2. Love You
3. Guys Like Me
4. She Knows What To Do (With A Saturday Night)
5. Supposed To Do
6. Hayride
7. Louisville Nashville Line
8. Really Never Loved Her Anyway
9. Pink John Deere
10. He Stopped Loving Her Today

11. Girl From Tennessee

Related Links:
Official Website  
MySpace  

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