Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Nudie - Remember This

Just say the name Nudie and you think country music -- or perhaps grainy porn flicks from the '50s and '60s.

But this Nudie -- who adopted his name from cowboy couturier Nudie Cohn, who outfitted the likes of Porter Wagoner, Hank Williams, Hank Snow, Elvis Presley and Gram Parsons -- is all about the former. And the former frontman of Nudie and the Turks, which released two albums and toured extensively before dissolving two years ago, has released his first solo album.

The 12-song, 36-minute effort often harkens back to the earlier days of country, when western was often appended to it, even though Nudie was born in Ontario and now resides in Prince Edward Island. The west meets east model shines through on opener "If A Heart Could Tell," which features guest vocals from Molly Rankin -- the youngest member of the prolifically talented and Maritime-proud Rankin Family.

I'm listening to songs from 1960's Johnny Cash Sings Hank Williams as I type this and, while I can't put Nudie in the class of those two gentlemen, his music fits in that niche.

The title song, a mid-tempo ballad given added depth via organ, is being highlighted as the focus track. It's nice, as is the entire independently released album, but there are other songs I'd personally push.

The roots-rocking "Sex Kisses," the Bakersfield country-influenced "You Try To Be Right," the vintage-sounding "Walking The Streets" and the gently chugging "Why Do We Keep Hanging On?" all get the thumbs up.

Maybe it's just me, but I hear bits of Van Morrison and Them's "Gloria" at points throughout "My Sweet Ache." That's a good thing.

Want to hear a hurtin' country ballad? Try "Fiona."

Like a range of tempos? "The Pain In You" features some impressive picking and is the fastest song on album. Right up next is "I'm Tired of Living With No Fun," an old-time country tune that plods along at just the right pace.

"I Miss The Love (But I Never Miss You)" closes the album on a high note and leaves you with a smile on your face.

Nudie isn't doing anything new, but he knows what he's doing and does it well.

You can purchase Remember This from Nudie's website.

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