There is a friendly game of push ‘n’ pull going on with the two lead singers of the Workers on Gravel. Trent Atkins draws from the bluegrass bale for his songs while Scott Hohnstein gives a hard edge to country and folk music for his. Together, they meet under the rock umbrella that is Missoula’s the Workers. And when a band named the Workers name an album Gravel, you know you’re in for some good ol’ blue-collar grit.
With Sid Kaste on drums and Bob Finnegan on bass, the band bangs out the album with all the finesse of a barn dance. They are not in the game to sound purty; they are in it for the work. Lean in to hear the lyrics and you’ll find a guy who is “so bad, I can’t do right.” Another dude travels “backwards down the railroad track / I’m going home.” The devil messes “with everything I do.” At one point, the narrative gets so bleak that a certain protagonist has to hide his liquor in a coffee cup. Gravel indeed. All that’s needed is for Atkins to learn how to play his mandolin nice and ugly.
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