40 Acre Mule Album Review
The 40 Acre Mule (from the album Good Night and Good Luck available on State Fair Records)
On Good Night & Good Luck, The 40 Acre Mule, out of Dallas, Texas, find common ground between their blender-brand of classic Rhythm & Blues and Rockabilly, Indie Rock and Soul, Punk and Alt Country. Decades ago, each genre occupied its own space but add a little electricity, toss about some feedback and a little attitude to raise the rowdy and you have got a description The 40 Acre Mule sounds on Goodnight and Good Luck. “You Better Run” is a gritty opener for the album, a murder ballad where the tale is a first person narrative by the person holding the gun warning ‘heaven help you, if I find your ass alive’.
“16 Days” is a revved-up blues number that kicks off with a cow-punk shuffle, a story where a dude ‘can’t do right since my baby done me wrong’ while “Make Up Your Mind” borrows from the Morphine camp, where the saxophone drives the melody, loads the song with fills, and handles the mid-song solo. “Be with Me” slows down the tempo while delivering a ballad loaded with rock. J Isiah Evans has an aching croon, and each time his vocals take a break the band lays it on thick. “Bathroom Walls” is an upbeat dose of the boogie-woogie blues and “Josephine” is a tune reminiscent of the punky blues of Los Angeles’s Slash Records. The 40 Acre Mule get it done. They are a ‘roll-up-the-sleeves, turn-things-up-to-eleven level band that can do the rock thing while musically acknowledging the different roads their sound has traveled on Goodnight and Good Luck.
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