Music

Drew Hickum & the Colonels: Drew Hickum & the Colonels

A sure-fire pleaser for fans of catchy, straight-up country tunes.


Drew Hickum & the Colonels

Drew Hickum & the Colonels

Label: Self-Released
US Release Date: 2008-10-04
UK Release Date: Available as import
Amazon
iTunes

For fans of straight-up country music, there would seem to be but two options for new releases: the glossy pink pop sounds of the mainstream, or arted-up and unrecognizable. Of course this is a false choice. There are loads of artists who still adhere to traditional country songcraft without resorting to studio tricks or obfuscations: Steve Earle, Robbie Fulks, the whole Bloodshot roster. Add Drew Hickum & the Colonels to that list.

The self-titled debut from this western New England outfit is full of the pure thrills that great country hooks and sounds provide. From the irreverent opener “Don’t Believe In Love”, to the brash war story “The Army”, Hickum’s steely voice shoulders arrangements of banjo, briskly strummed guitar, and pedal steel courtesy of guest Bruce Tull (Scud Mountain Boys, Lo Fine). A 12-song set clocking in at just over a half hour, these songs get in and get out, but not before leaving their mark. Hickum’s lyrics and melodies will no doubt draw comparisons to early Ryan Adams, and that’s a good thing. The work of both exudes confidence in and love of a well-constructed and deeply felt country song.

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Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Publisher: W. W. Norton
Author: Jessica Bruder
Publication date: 2017-09
Amazon

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This book offers a poignant and jarring reminder not just of the resilience of the human spirit, but also of its ability to seek solace in the materiality of one's present.

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Now Truong continues the tale with Saigon Calling: London 1963-75 (originally published in French in 2015), which follows the experiences of his family after they seek refuge in Europe. It offers a poignant illustration of what life was like for a family of refugees from the war, and from the perspective of young children (granted, Truong's family were a privileged and upper class set of refugees, well-connected with South Vietnamese and European elites). While relatives and friends struggle to survive amid the bombs and street warfare of Vietnam, the displaced narrator and his siblings find their attention consumed by the latest fashion and music trends in London. The book offers a poignant and jarring reminder not just of the resilience of the human spirit, but also of its ability to seek solace in the materiality of one's present.

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