Fought Down — a keeper

No shit. “Fought Down” is a fucking great CD.

If you like good music — even if your tastes doesn’t always run to country or rock — you will thank yourself from now until the freezing over of the Gulf of Mexico if you buy “Fought Down.”

Ken Layne and the Corvids have managed to cobble together 10 songs that are stellar, not just because the lyrics are witty and the melodies intelligent, but because the playing is as tight and spot on as any band can get, and the production shimmers like a Caribbean seashore.

Songs like “I Should Be That Guy,” “The Sun Don’t Shine,” “Mama, Take Another Stand,” “Here’s to You,” and the title track will bore deep into your cranium and refuse to leave.

Of course great songs make you want to sing along, but the best of these make you want to crawl inside of them and live there for a while.

I want to tell you that “Fought Down” reminds me in parts of Gram Parsons, and the Rolling Stones, and Steve Earle, and Uncle Tupelo, but I’m afraid if you don’t like any of those guys, it will prejudice against the CD. “Fought Down” reminds me of all of that, but it’s so much more than a summation of Ken Layne’s influences, and it’s so much more than just another country album — even as I think of songs like “Here’s to You” as a modern honky tonk classic — or a rock album, and it’s certainly more than just another piece of Americana schlock. It is music that will move you even if you generally shy away from the whole country vibe, but still speak to your hillbilly soul if that’s what you want.

Trust me on this — I’ve listened to tens of thousands of songs over the years, songs from every conceivable genre. What you hear on “Fought Down” is more than just music met to fit in a particular niche, to appeal to a certain demographic or snuggle up to a narrowly defined market. It is music created with a single goal: to please people who love music. Forget whatever labels you think might apply to “Fought Down.” Enjoy it because it is simply too good not to enjoy.

This is a CD that will be in my music collection forever. It will be part of a regular rotation of CDs I never grow tired of. It is simply that good.

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