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Gasoline Lollipops – All The Misery Money Can Buy

All The Misery Money Can Buy. 

Just from the title alone I felt I could deduce that this wouldn’t be the “feel good” album of the year. I mean that’s fair, right? And when I first dropped the needle on this stuff, I started to think that I just might be getting sharper in my old age. Well, not so fast. By the time I got through to the end of this utterly unique slice of Americana, I was guilty once again of being a silly judgmental old fool.

As soon as I heard Clay Rose sing his first note on the opening track (“All The Misery”) I knew I was in for something a bit different. His distinct and soothing tone is something I really haven’t ever heard before. Yes, there is a significant resemblance to Roy Orbison that leaped out at me, but it’s a heck of a lot more complicated than that. When Rose plants his feet and really digs into some of these songs he has a Joe Cocker/Bruce Springsteen grit with shades of Eric Clapton, Chris Isaac, and all the qualities of your iconic country legends. With all of that said, when I hear Rose’s tone it wraps around me like the warm, golden air of a summer sunset. 

Now that we’ve established Clay Rose and his inimitable style, it’s time to tell you about all the extras that really drive this music to that giant truck stop inside your soul. Soul…. that’s a really appropriate word when talking about Gasoline Lollipops. You’ll hear a bluesy piano break or two, you’ll hear revivalist-like backing vocals, and you’ll hear an organ trill that will rattle your bones. I have a weakness in my heart for a Hammond B3, and this band uses its power as good as anyone. From a low hum just to enhance and add flavor (“All The Misery”), to saturating a melody with intense color and soloing (“Bound For Glory,” “Get Up”), the organ sound caters perfectly to the song here.

And that brings us to the most important part of any record - the songs. There really are so many flavors to choose from here, but none of them stray too far off the rails. Songs like “All The Misery,” “Get Up,” and “Lady Liberty” have a Springsteen/Rolling Stones rock feel, “Train To Ride” and “Gypsy” have a more traditional country tilt, and “Flesh And Bone” and “Bound For Glory” have a Mellencamp-type of Americana. And, to even further the diversity of this record, the last song here (“Sinner Man”) is a creepy, mysterious rocker that finds the band at its most raw and progressive. I find it to be an incredible way to end a record like this, proving that this band is capable of just about anything.

Needless to say, I love this record. I put it on and I feel tides of various emotions, from sadness to gladness and everything in between. But, this silly old fool can definitely say that he feels good every time it plays.  

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