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