Rig Rock Deluxe: A Tribute To The American Trucker

Various Artists

Upstart CD UP25A
Rounder Records
One Camp Street
Cambridge, MA 02140

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
By Al Price
(banjoman@banjoman.seanet.com)

In the past, there have been a number of "Trucker's Favorites" collections, many of which carry the same selections by the same artists. "Rig Rock Deluxe", a new collection, has familiar trucking tunes as well as some that haven't been heard before. Several songs on this collection were first heard by many on Commander Cody's classic, "Hot Licks, Cold Steel and Trucker's Favorites"(which is sadly now out of print).

No Commander Cody on here, but the artists on this collection are varied in terms of familiarity and musical background. Artists range from Buck Owens to Nick Lowe and from Del Reeves to Kay Adams & BR549. The music features lots of pedal steel guitar and electric leads with a snare drum snapping out the time. If country just doesn't sound country enough anymore or if you've watched the sun come up while sipping too strong coffee looking through a windshield for a place that serves bacon eggs the way they ought to be made, then this is an album for you.

A few favorites:

* "White Freightliner Blues" features Steve Earle backed by Peter Rowan, Norman Blake and Roy Husky Jr. on this song written by Townes Van Zandt. Its a treat to hear any of these wonderful musicians play and very special indeed to hear them together. This is my personal favorite on the album.

* "Miss Marie and The Bedford Blaze" by Marty Stuart tells the tale of a truck driving woman's search for David Allen Coe. The arrangement is reminiscent of Johnny Cash's early work.

* "Highway Junkie" by Dan Baird and The Yayhoo's bluesy is a funky ode to the road. It rocks.

"Rig Rock Deluxe" is a trucker's album for the '90s. Its enough to make you want to hit the road right after you have just one more cup of strong, black coffee.

[Edited by: Paula Gregorowicz]

Copyright 1996, Three Rivers Folklife Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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