Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., Aug. 1, 2003
Weary BoysGood Times (Weary) In the past year or so, the Weary Boys have become one of Austin's hottest live acts. Their standard m.o.: two minutes of music, a cloud of dust, and twang to burn. Repeat that for an hour or more, and audiences start bouncing off the walls. So it's surprising that Good Times, the band's third CD, is a relatively laid-back affair. They've seemingly channeled their youthful energy into a rustic vision that recalls Gillian Welch or the languid side of Son Volt. While the songs they've written aren't in the same league as those acts, the Boys have added new colors to their palette, working piano and organ into a few songs and giving their sound a varied twist. The plaintive "Never Be Lonely" and somber title track are stark laments, yet both benefit from the tinkle of piano in the background that lends them an old-time feel. It's not all dark and filled with dread, however. "Cruel Corrine" kicks up dirt at a gallop, the Wearys also stepping lively on the Carter Family's "Kneelin' Drunkards Plea." The instrumental fiddle tune, "Red Headed Gambler," penned by bass player Darren Slyder, shows the band's best side -- short, spirited, and steeped in traditional country. Good Times demonstrates that the Weary Boys are unwilling to be pigeonholed, and that's surely a good thing.