Eastwood

Everything's Personal (Self-released)

What's impressive about Eastwood's sophomore release is the band's total lack of interest in following any alt-country trend whatsoever. Not comfortable playing some punk/country hybrid (a la genre godfathers Uncle Tupelo) nor going hard-core Americana like so many folks who are content picking and grinning their way to marketplace irrelevance, David Heidle, Kevin Minihan and the rest of this punchy quintet fall contentedly into an agreeable middle ground.

That's not to say Eastwood's music lacks bite. Songs such as "Giving Up, Giving In," "I Can Only Remember the Good Times" and a tasty hayseed overhaul of "Come Together" show a band well-suited for mainstream country success—not the slick Nashville stylings of the über-patriot mullet brigade, but the more genuine Bakersville sound of Buck Owens and Dwight Yoakam.

Certainly, more closely associated with The Eagles than Gram Parsons, Eastwood is a band that understands, and seemingly relishes, its limitations.

Detailing the standard tales of lost loves and missed opportunities, Everything's Personal is exactly that, a dozen well-played cuts that resonate with the honest grace of a guy telling you his problems at the nearest watering hole. Eastwood may not be groundbreaking, but it's nice to hear a band content plying its craft in such well-traveled, yet still-vital, waters.

 
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