Western soul

trophy husbandsOne of my earliest memories is visiting Colorado when I was four or five years old. I got to help rope and brand a calf (also got my finger caught between the rope and the hitching post). I wore cowboy boots. I rode a horse. I was with my family, and all the men in my family wore boots.

Boots, horses, cows, range land, rifles and six-shooters … it’s all in my blood.

I may have grown up in San Diego, but I never surfed. Hell, I hardly went to the beach, even when I lived half a block away. I had a skateboard, but could barely ride it. I always had a bike, but it was something to get me some place, not to do tricks on.

There’s hardly been a time in my life when I haven’t owned a pair of point-toed boots and some tight-fitting blue jeans (except when I was fat). Screw loose fit and Birkenstocks.

I don’t eat tofu or drink wheat grass juice. If I have an aura, I’ve never seen it; and a past life is something I did last week. I called Jerry Brown Gov. Moonbeam and thought Jackson Browne was a wimp.

I’d rather walk the streets of Bakersfield than dine in Beverly Hills.

Keep your double latte; give me a shot of whiskey and a dollar for the jukebox.

I like meat and potatoes and pick the sprouts of out my salad.

In other words, I’ve never been much of a California kid.

To me, soul music isn’t James Brown or Isaac Hayes. It’s Gram Parsons and Merle Haggard. That’s the music that talks about my life, my heartaches, my aspirations and my loves (both found and lost).

kevin dalySo it should surprise anybody that last night, sitting in Zoey’s, listening to the Trophy Husbands, I felt like I was in church.

Blowing in from Arizona on a dusty wind, the Trophy Husbands play a brand of country rock that is full of grit, guile and guts. It kicks you in the teeth and dares you to get back up. It says it’s high noon, the sage brush is blowing and blue steel glints in the sunlight. It is uniquely western, while it is also modern, stark and vibrant.

Few artists today play songs about murder and revenge with the gusto of the Trophy Husbands.

Dave Insley and Kevin Daly, the core of the Trophy Husbands, are polished musicians, accomplished songwriters and singers who put passion into each performance. They’re also a helluva a couple of nice guys, to boot.

The Trophy Husband’s first CD, “Dark and Bloody Ground,” is one of my favorite western CDs. I’m looking forward to their next release, which should be out soon, they promise. (I was hearing that a couple of months ago, too.)

Here’s a couple of advance MP3s from the new album.

  1. Sad Girl
  2. There You Go

BTW: I didn’t know this until last night, but Daly (in the close up picture) is a regular reader of this site, which I was thrilled to learn. Hopefully, he’ll start contributing a few comments here and there.

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