Country Music

Lonesome Onry and Mean: John Doe & the Sadies' Country Club

Lonesome, Onry and Mean likes him some country music done right, so it was with considerable delight that we listened to Country Club by X bassist/singer John Doe and the Sadies. An L.A. rocker and a Canadian alt-country outfit seem like unlikely musical bedfellows, but Country Club works from the first note of the Carl Belew/W. S. Stevenson classic made famous by Patsy Cline, "Stop the World and Let Me Off."

Doe's bruised-and-damaged-man vocals work perfectly with Roger Miller's tearjerker "Husbands and Wives" and the mournful steel guitar etched "'Til I Get It Right." The entire album is solid, but the standout tracks are Doe's stirring version of the Hank Snow chestnut "A Fool Such As I," an absolutely amazing take on Willie Nelson's "Night Life" and some great redneck renditions of Bob Bare's "Detroit City" and Merle Haggard's evergreen polit-cultural commentary, "Are the Good Times Really Over For Good."

Kudos go to the Sadies - brothers Dallas and Travis Good (whose musical roots reach far back into their family tree), and drummer Mike Belitsky and bassist Sean Dean -- for their totally legitimate take on country music. They knew going in none of this would ever fly on Clear Channel or CMT, but carried out the project with scrupulous integrity.

If you like old school country music done right, join the Country Club.

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William Michael Smith