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Enigma Records ENI105CD

The latest slice of cajun-inflected Country-rock hokum offered by this feisty band from the West Midlands finds the line-up expanded to a 5-piece since I last saw them at Fylde in 1995, with all the material by their own writers, of which they can boast three. The title track kicks off the album in rocking mode with a sneering Brian Bannister vocal and industrial size beats from Richard Heath's drums though they can switch easily to exquisite blends of joyful longing coupled with sassy tunes as on "Born in the Right Time".

Split the difference between the frantic down-home "Rock of the Long Ryders" and the more lyrical Bakersfield-driven "Country of Tin Star" and you begin to arrive at the Bushburys. They're enormously popular on their home patch and at festivals and have a confidence borne out of years' solid gigging. The band manages never to let its influences get in the way of a good time and whilst this album has its self-conscious and formulaic moments (heck, even their name is a lift from the Ozarks), fans of fashion-free rockabilly guitar licks and edgy, nervous lyrics should investigate.

For what I think is only a second album this is massively accomplished and promise-packed.

Clive Pownceby

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This album was reviewed in Issue 23 of The Living Tradition magazine.