SXSW Records

Phases and Stages


Genuine (Lucky Dog) The title of the Derailers fifth album is Genuine, and it is pronounced "jen-u-whine." That's easy. The more difficult part is trying to explain exactly why this collection of songs from one of Austin's best bands doesn't jump out of the speakers like their previous discs. To their credit, the Derailers still take chances, their Beatles-meet-Buck Owens sound remaining mostly intact. There's Brian Hofeldt's sharp guitar work, high-spirited harmonies, and some exquisite moments such as the Roy Orbison-influenced "Alone With You" and the acoustic bluegrass tinged "The Wheel." Unfortunately, producer Kyle Lehning (Randy Travis, Bryan White) has shaved off some of the band's rough edges. In fact, those edges are positively round in spots. The reality, however, is that most of the songs don't stand out the way tunes from the past like "This Big City" or "Can't Stop a Train" did. There's too much reliance on outside writers like Jim Lauderdale and Kostas, to name just two. The Derailers have proved over time that they are both talented songwriters and a great band with an interesting sound, so if Genuine isn't the real deal, it's just a misstep. (Auditorium Shores, Friday, March 14, 7pm)


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