Marti Brom & her Barnshakers Snake Ranch (Goofin')
Reviewed by Jerry Renshaw, Fri., Dec. 3, 1999
Marti Brom & her Barnshakers
Snake Ranch (Goofin')Rockabilly releases tend to be problematic. It's a genre of music that is best experienced live, and while modern-day rockabillies try valiantly to capture the spontaneous feel of early Sun or Starday releases, it usually comes out sounding a little too mannered. Marti Brom's new release finds the local singer wearing Wanda Jackson on her sleeve a bit (only to be expected), but all in all it's a fairly spirited effort. Goofin' Records is a Finnish label, and the Barnshakers are a bunch of Finns who lose surprisingly little in the translation. San Antonio's T. Jarrod Bonta provides barrelhouse piano in the background, bringing it a bit closer to home. There's a sparse, lean production sound here, and of course, the requisite amount of slapback echo on several songs. Brom has a great deal of charm onstage, which readily shows through on numbers like "Kiss the Baby Goodnight" and "This Is Love, Not Liquor." "Lovesick Clown" is an Owen Bradley-vintage countrypolitan number, while "Black Cadillac" recalls a cross between Patsy Cline and Army-era Elvis. While Snake Ranch doesn't quite capture the fun of seeing Brom and band live, it at least makes it easy to picture them thumping out honky-tonk rockers at, say, the Continental Club.