Review: Legends of Rodeo

Legends of Rodeo
“A Thousand Friday Nights”
(Bieler Bros. Records / MCA Records)

While browsing in the local record store, I happened across a copy of this album filed in the country music section.  Kind of a mistake, if you ask me- Legends of Rodeo is country music band in name only.  A few songs on this album, especially the album’s finest moment, “Devil Started Rock And Roll,” do deal with traditional country themes like the frustrations of small-town
life, but there are also offerings that have little resemblance to anything remotely country.  If it’s not country, then what is it?  Not such an easy question, as it turns out.  There’s a wide variety of genres here, running the gamut from punk to blues, but in the end, this album refuses to fit neatly into any one musical genus.  Where “A Thousand Friday Nights” does fit is into some broader cultural order of youthful angst and experience, right there with “Catcher in the Rye” and “The Wonder Years” (I think Holden
Caulfield and Kevin Arnold would have had a lot to talk about).  In the end, this disc is not without weak points- singer/guitarist John Ralston can take on an especially nasal tone, and some songs, notably “American Love” and “Bartender,” are held back by clumsy hooks- but it’s an album that grows on you.