Woman and guns. Now there's a cocktail full of trouble. This thought was brought to the Bluesbunny's mind by the glorious cover of Buttercup's new album "Evil for You". Reminiscent of the gaudy covers to old pulp fiction novels, it sets the scene for 14 tracks of country music like they used to do before Nashville overdosed it with saccharine. Just the kind of thing that you might get if Patsy sat down next to Ida Lupino and they did a duet in that classic movie "Road House". This is torch singing country style in good old fashioned black and white.
It was hard to find fault with this album. In fact, we gave up trying. Cassandra Cossit and Octavia Carpin's vocals intertwine to give a spellbinding yet world weary feel. Respectful of their musical heritage, this band take a mix of lesser known covers and their own compositions and transport them into a land thought long forgotten. Like any good "B" movie, the subjects of these songs are a mixed bunch of the unfortunate, the lost, the lonely and those seeking redemption. They drown their sorrows in "A River of Whiskey" and you can just feel the despair coming through in John Hanor's guitar solo. At Bluesbunny Towers, we do like songs that involve the demon drink. "It's The Bottle Talkin'" is a classy slice of melodrama about the times when there really was no such thing as a sensitive man unless he had a drink in him. There is not a bad song here but we have a particular soft spot for the positively jaunty "Cowboy Poets and Honky Tonk Heartthrobs". Oh, and whilst we hate to admit it (Bluesbunny has longstanding issues with fiddles) the star of the show on this album is Mike Tighe's remarkably tasteful and effective fiddle playing.
Buttercup have managed a fine balance with this album. It sounds like a reverential tribute to the glory days of country music but it still manages to be fresh and interesting. In the interests of science (of course!), we poured ourselves a glass of Virginia Gentleman as we listened, closed our eyes and found ourselves in a bar at a truck stop falling for the kind of woman (scarlet lipstick, chain smoking, world weary) that they just don't make anymore. Oh Buttercup, will you sing another song for me?
Available by worldwide mail order from CD Baby.