Bourbon Crow, Spook City All Stars

Sometimes it's not so much the music as the spirit behind it. When it comes to the North Carolina band Bourbon Crow, the spirit is all about, well, spirits. Not the ghostly kind, unless you count the fact that Crow channels the voice and attitude of country's long dead musical outlaws, but rather the spirits of Johnnie Walker, Jim Beam and, you know, dear old Granddad. Bourbon Crow singer Buck Bourbon, aka Joseph Poole (most famous for his work as a Murderdoll) sings mainly about booze—it's nuances, flavors and effects, it's pluses and minuses (even though it's clear he believes its minuses are actually pluses). Take, for instance, his tune "Drink 'til You Ain't Ugly Anymore" which tells the first-person tale of the protagonist tipping back a few until a barfly's "hunchback, unibrow and lazy eye" metaphorically melt away. Then there's "Alcohol Is Awesome," which pretty much speaks for itself.

Sounds like a one-joke pony, true, but the joke is enhanced by Poole's nifty wordplay, solid songwriting and, especially, his deep, Elvis-lite voice. Oh, and don't forget his true devotion to Hanks I and III, plus any other drunken C&W fuck-up who ever turned Nashville upside down while turning his liver into Jell-O.


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