Under the Influence of Buck (Palo Duro)
Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., Aug. 10, 2007
The DerailersUnder the Influence of Buck (Palo Duro)
Since the departure of co-founder Tony Villanueva in 2004, the Derailers have foundered a bit. Searching for a way to keep their Beatles-meets-Bakersfield sound together, they've reached back to a primary influence with this collection of 13 songs associated with honky-tonk immortal Buck Owens. Simultaneously reinvigorating themselves as well as fashioning an exceptionally listenable tribute to one of their biggest supporters, the Derailers prove they still can make music that touches the soul while setting dancing shoes to shuffle. There are some obvious choices -- "Love's Gonna Live Here," "My Heart Skips a Beat," "Together Again" -- but also some surprises, like an almost psychedelic "Who's Gonna Mow Your Grass" and the sweetly swinging "Down on the Corner of Love." Villanueva's harmonies are still missed occasionally, but Brian Hofeldt does a capable re-creation of Owens' tenor twang, and the rest of the Austin quintet is more than accomplished enough to bring the Buckaroo's musical fervor to life with loving justice.