This might be a little off the farm for some of ya’ but here is an album from an ol’ boy I saw quite by accident and ended up hangin’ with (read: got way too wasted with) all night…
I was headed out to see Jason Boland at The Firehouse for the umpteenth time and left too early or didn’t stop and eat so I got there before the opening act had even started. You see I usually skip the opening acts for most bands I go see and that may be kind of shitty it’s just how I’ve done it for years. Anyway… The opening act, some dude named Jackson Taylor, starts up and much to my surprise the music was quite good. I meandered over near the stage there was this old boy wearin’ a Social D t-shirt, covered in tats belting out country music. One thing led to another and instead of seeing the band I came to see I ended up hanging out with the opener all night. There’s a story there that doesn’t warrant telling here but you can rest assured I had a grand ol’ time.
That said I have to admit this isn’t my favorite Jackson Taylor album. I mean he’s a bad son of a bitch (I was at a show he was late to because he had to bailed out of jail for a bar fight the night before) but it seems sort of forced in places on this album. The music is more polished than his early stuff and that could play into why I am not as into as his other albums. So why write about it? Well that’s because as much as it’s not my favorite JT album it’s still a damn site better than most of the tripe passing as country music these days and there are some real gems on it as well. I have a feeling even the songs that aren’t that great on this offering will be pretty damn good live because that’s just how Jackson is.
The two Social D covers, Ball & Chain and Highway 101, may be my fourth and fifth favorite covers this year (#1 Micah Schnabel – Can’t Hardly Wait, #2 Michael Dean Damron – Beautiful and Damned, #3 Chad Price – Hybrid Moments) and the new recording of Jackson’s own classic Barefeet on the Dash make this one worth picking up. At first listen the music may sound like standard Country & Western to some the lyrics and attitude is where Jackson makes his stand. He follows in the outlaw tradition of Waylon, Willie, Ray Wylie and Billy Joe in writing music that Nashville won’t touch with a ten foot pole as well as touching on topics that are generally forbidden in the radio safe sounds drifting out of Music City. Jackson is most assuredly a Texas boy, born and bred, and that shows through when he plays and in his overall approach to life.
Aces ‘n Eights ain’t gonna make album of the year for me but it ain’t getting deleted off my iPod either. It’s a good listen and I may be too harsh a critic. Pick it up and decide for yourself.
Two from Aces ‘n Eights
Two from Live, Locked, & Loaded at Longhorns: