I wonder if Nashville actually needs the hand holding that it gets these days. It was always the most mercenary corner of the music business with the clinical precision that it manipulates the check shirt and pickup truck version of the American Dream nothing less than the stuff of big business legend.
It therefore seems somewhat incongruous to listen to Audrey Auld’s album “Tonk” it is so completely country that you might even consider it a pastiche although it more likely homage to the country sounds that you don’t get anymore. Even stranger is that Ms auld hails from Australia so she can’t even claim to have been dyed in the wool that they used to knit Loretta Lynn’s dress.
Ms Auld, however, has a heart with a neat turn in lyrical enthusiasm that suggests a sharp mind is at work. “Bury Me At Walmart”, for example turns obsession upside down and puts it in a cheap dime store cowboy hat. Likewise, the throwaway fun of “Rack Off” provides strong reinforcement to that sing-along and smile blue collar groove. Of the more conventional country songs, the aforementioned Loretta would surely have queued up to record “Drinking problem” and I have no reason to doubt that the options on “Your Wife” would have been snapped up too.
So there you have it. “Tonk” is a good natured album just like they used to make before the business decided to retrofit that pedal steel sound on to AOR. If this were 1967, I don’t doubt that Audrey Auld would be singing at the Grand Ole Opry.