Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., April 12, 2002
THE Meat PurveyorsAll Relationships Are Doomed to Fail (Bloodshot) Well, the Meat Purveyors are back, and there isn't any shame in saying they've been missed. Now that they've finally gotten around to releasing a new disc, All Relationships Are Doomed to Fail, we can all go back to dancing around the living room in our underwear, using a broomstick for a microphone and singing along at the top of our lungs while they do Ratt, Abba, Ralph Stanley, and Nick Lowe tunes bluegrass-style. Is this a dysfunctional relationship or what? It's probably part of their master plan. "Let's break up for a year or so," they thought. "We'll come back better than ever and take over the world." Sorry folks, it isn't going to be that way. This is bluegrass we're talking about after all, even if it's well-twisted at the edges. Most folks are sure to notice how sweetly the voices of singer Jo Walston and bass player Cherilyn diMond mix, but the real brawn behind the band is mandolin player/album producer Pete Stiles and guitarist Bill Anderson. Stiles' picking is what keeps the band in the bluegrass tradition, while Anderson, who wrote five of the disc's 13 tracks, has a fancy way of melding perceptive lyrics and hooky melodies. This is especially true on the tunes that concern two of their favorite subjects, drinking ("Thinking About Drinking") and the Devil ("I Have a Devil in Me"). Welcome back you crazy Meat Purveyors. Just promise you'll never ever leave us again. This is one relationship that ought to last a very long time.