Till the Daylight Comes
Reviewed by: Geno Thackara
With Till the Daylight Comes we have a classic case of “what you see is what you get.” The cover tells you this is a record to sing along with in the truck. (Not necessarily the car or whatever other transport you might have; somehow it just begs for a beaten rusty pickup.) The title hints that it’s a lively listen to accompany your gang through the evening and into the wee hours. ‘Country’ is right there in the name, so you should be ready for pickin’, grinnin’, foot-stompin’ and any other fun thing you’d care to drop the G from. And…Lips? All right, your guess is as good as mine on that one.
Regardless – grab your sturdiest dancing boots and your best (well, least threadbare) flannel and be ready for a rowdy ol’ time with a big dose of twang. It’s not the alternative country of today’s big charts; this is more the whiskey-fueled honky-tonk of rustic bars with peanut shells littering the floors. Making good use of pedal steel, accordion, fiddle and barrelhouse piano, they combine Cracker-like drollness and Merle Haggard realness with a charm too dang nice and sincere to doubt.
The tone is set straight off in the first two minutes. “You don’t have to drive me crazy, darlin’ / I’m close enough to walk,” the leads drawl in harmony to kick off the jaunty chorus. Lest the songwriting seem too self-consciously humorous, they then turn on a dime with “You can’t steal my heart / I can’t lose what’s already lost.” It’s far from the classiest of love songs – it really has to be with a title like “Laundromat” – but the simple sentiments are heartfelt enough to make it work. From there they continue with timeless themes: love (lost, found, gone wrong or otherwise), friendship, the struggles of workaday small-town life, and (obviously) booze and the benefits and pitfalls thereof.
I get the feeling these fellas must be a real hoot to see live. Even in the studio they’re full of boisterous energy and clearly having fun together. That traditional Western vibe is hard not to feel wherever you listen to the results too. There’s a reason good-time music never gets old – it’s stuff we’ve all heard before, sure, but toss it in with a couple good buddies in the cab and that doesn’t really matter at all.