THE BAKERSFIELD GLEE CLUB
The Bakersfield Glee Club
Melbourne good ol’ boys, The Bakersfield Glee Club, have come out with a self-titled album that shuffles more than the disenfranchised hordes of dust-bowl era Okies it tips its hat to. The album, a 15-track homage to Nashville’s great historical country music rival, is an obvious emulation of the likes of Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, and their rootin’ tootin’ ilk.
Backed by a chugging rhythm section and competent, yet understated guitar work (check out Remington Ride and Workin’ Man’s Blues), the tracks flow well. The songwriting aims true at the grand country tradition of narrative lyricism and, after the first couple of tracks, the album shows intelligent song placement, with each succeeding tune stylistically different and engaging.
That said, the vocal style doesn’t quite hit the level of emotional engagement that epitomises great country music, making the album tick all the right boxes superficially, but lacking a little in depth. Ultimately, the band has made a solid historically retrospective work that feels a little unoriginal, but plays fantastically well to its strengths. Not to mention, it’s catchy as hell.