Had It With You! - Reviews
"The new effort by one of Montana’s best country bands is out, and it’s another danceable winner. "
"Buck Buchanan, Sandy Dodge and the fellows from Bozeman have crafted a 12- song compendium that covers all the country styles, heavy on cool pedal steel and guitar inflections. Most of the tunes are written and sung by singer and guitarist Buchanan, although a couple of great covers are thrown in. New to the group is guitarist Marcus Engstrom, replacing long-time member Jim Lewis, who left to pursue other musical interests. Whereas Lewis is a Fender Telecaster man, Engstrom, originally from Sweden, plays his own creation – an Engstrom guitar.
The album contains numbers featuring each guitar player, adding variety to the CD’s sound. Other members of the band are Russ Olsen, vocals and bass, and Johnny Regan, vocals and drums. Guests Mark Mattix, fiddle, and Carol Buchanan, harmony vocals, help out. From the twangy, shuffly get-go of the opener, “Pardon Me,” your feet are tappin’. Engstrom’s silky touch shares instrumental duties with Dodge’s signature pedal steel licks. A great muscular and chunky Telecaster sound from Lewis underpins “Guardian Angel,” with its quick, syncopated tempo and country-rock stylings. “Dear Patsy,” written by Buchanan along with Kenny Williams and Kostas, is a love letter to the great Ms. Cline. It’s soft and smooth, has shimmery brushwork from drummer Regan, and sports clever lyrics playing off Cline’s song titles. The cover song, “Caught,” sung by Olsen, is about every strayer’s worst nightmare, where bliss turns to crap in a heartbeat; and Buchanan’s “Y’all Keep Texas” is a great jitterbugger, and a laugher, too. It’s a kicked-up thumb-of-the-nose at those southerners who think their state is the best (“Drink your Lonestar beer, we’ll drink microbrews”). Dodge slays it with his white-hot steel riffs on the Bob Wills-styled tune. “I Take It on Home” is tender and bluesy with a Willie Nelson nuance; it’s a lazy-tongued delivery by Regan from a man who stops for a few drinks on the way home, is tempted, yet remembers who he’s got waiting for him. Bill Anderson’s “I’ll Go Down Swinging” gets a good feeling-sorry rendition, and sparkling drums propel the galloping dancer, “Hands on the Wheel.” The finale is the best pedal steel tune of all time, and one of the coolest instrumentals ever, Santo and Johnny’s “Sleepwalk.” Trust me when I say Dodge’s rendition will give you goosebumps every time.
Yowza! I’m sure it’s the favorite belt-buckle shiner of www.Twang’s crowds wherever they go."
- Mariss McTucker, State of the Arts and livelytimes.com