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Music Review - `Phil Lee and the Horse he Rode In On` by Phil Lee (bm)

Phil Lee - Phil Lee and the Horse He Road In On  (click on image to watch video)

 11 October 2019



Neil Young crew member turned veteran folk-rock recording artist Phil Lee teams with two members of Crazy Horse (drummer Ralph Molina and bassist Billy Talbot) for recent album Phil Lee & The Horse He Rode In On.

Lee doesn’t seem to take himself too seriously, considering the delightful sticker on the CD shrink wrap that reads STEPHEN STILLS in large letters, with “never actually appears on this record” in small print.

Rest assured, the music inside is no joke. Opener “The Mighty King of Love” revisits the title track off Lee’s 2000 Shanachie debut. It makes Lee sound a little like Bob Dylan, backed by a band featuring not just members of Crazy Horse but also keyboardist Barry Goldberg (Electric Flag, The Steve Miller Band), session guitarist Richard Bennett and Bill Lloyd from Foster & Lloyd.

From there, “Wake Up Crying” hat-tips the Rolling Stones’ twangier material; “Hey Buddy” crosses the Byrds with Roy Orbison; “No Exit Wound” captures the Spanish-influenced West Coast country music of Dwight Yoakam; and “Party Drawers” points back to the sometimes overlooked funny sides of Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and other outlaws. Each revisit times when American country storytelling and rock showmanship from both sides of the pond successfully crossed paths.

The tracks highlighted above qualify as country or country-rock in some form or another. However, like most things labeled Americana, this survey of American music also incorporates soul (“Bad for Me”), psychedelic rock (“Turn to Stone”), and other sounds absent from those flawless, old George Jones records.

In all, the album shares the magic conjured up when a well-traveled artist works with old running buddies from a special time in rock ‘n’ roll history.


Bobby Moore




Bobby Moore





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