Review: California Speedbag

calif
California Speedbag
“The Fire of Misery”
(Smog Veil)

If I was fat, had a beard, drank JB straight from the bottle, lived in Wyoming, drove a truck for a living, could recite the entire Merle Haggard library, knew the names of NASCAR drivers, liked song titles like “White Trash is People Too”, could play the squeezebox, ate pork-n-beans straight from the can, had a mullet, or owned a belt buckle, then I would like this record. But I don’t. California Speedbag play their own little brand of honky-tonk rockabilly, featuring a washboard, pedal steel, the whole nine. Their songs ride the fine line between silly and sassy (I just made that up and it doesn’t mean anything), poking fun at slutty barflies (“Buttonwillow”) and trailer-park romance (“Darling, Will You Marry Me Again?”) while still managing to include plenty of references to alcohol (“Don’t Drink that Whiskey” and “Empty Bottle, Empty Life”).

If you’re looking for sharp social commentary, highly trained musicians and/or intellectual stimulation, then you’re going to have to look elsewhere. If you like sitting on your ass drinking Duff Beer, playing the Jew’s Harp, enjoy the mint Copenhagen more than the mint Skoal, live in a van down by the river, wish your pirated cable provided you with TNN East, think backyard wrestling is quality entertainment, or own a pair of overalls, then this one is for you.