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Derailers

Under the Influence of Buck

(Palo Dura; US: 31 Jul 2007; UK: Available as import)

The Derailers’ music has always shown the influence of Buck Owens, but this is the first time they have taken the man’s catalogue head on. The 13 tracks here were all written, co-written, or frequently performed live by the Bakersfield legend (except Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode”). The band does a pretty good job of capturing Buck’s spirit without slavishly imitating his records, especially on the material that swings. The vocals have just enough of an aching drawl to be convincing without being camp. The instrumentals have that honky tonk sound and clip clop rhythm down pat. The dual guitar work is especially noteworthy. While there may be no reason to recreate these songs—could anyone improve on the originals—taken as whole the disc provides some good time music and a fine tribute to one of country’s finest artists. The songs themselves are classic. Buck would be proud to be remembered this way.

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Steven Horowitz has a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Iowa, where he continues to teach a three-credit online course on "Rock and Roll in America". He has written for many different popular and academic publications including American Music, Paste and the Icon. Horowitz is a firm believer in Paul Goodman's neofunctional perspective on culture and that Sam Cooke was right, a change is gonna come.


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