Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Foster & Lloyd - Faster And Llouder (RCA, 1989)

Before teaming with Radney Foster, Bill Lloyd was a Nashville-based musician specializing in power pop. Demos from this era (1983-86) were later collected on an album entitled Feeling The Elephant. Would Lloyd's Byrds-y guitars and Foster's cutting-edge songwriting be the stuff of y'allternative programming a la WCMS' "Ahead Of The Herd"? Hardly. Between 1987-90, F & L charted nine singles on the Billboard country charts. Sometimes, sheep steer you in the right direction.

"She Knows What She Wants" is the clingy woman brought home after a heavy night of boozing at Miss Kitty's. Even though a bond exists between the two lip-lockers, the relationship is largely one-sided ("She needs someone who will need her/The very same way she needs me"). Special guest Marshall Crenshaw is a heavy contributor to the cut, offering his services on rhythm guitar and six-string bass. On "Faster And Louder," the cowgirl's daddy -- with a cocked Smith And Wesson in hand -- tells her dancing partner that "the state of Tennessee's better without you around." Well, maybe a move to Texas is in the cards, since this is the kinda Chuck Berry-meets-The Blasters firecracker you'd see ignite on "Austin City Limits." Twangin'-n-bangin' leads come courtesy of Vince Gill. Once the tear-filled accusations of a neighbor hiding under the bed and a ghost in the closet cease, "I'll Always Be Here Loving You" will soothe jealous feelings like a cool balm. The Lloyd-sung "Suzette" references Springsteen's "Born To Run" in a back-and-forth lovers' quarrel. "Leaving you" letters on the turntable turn into Hallmark cards at the drop of a Stetson. "After I'm Gone" furthers the indecisiveness ("You want out/You want in/You always stop to start again/Every time you change your mind/Nobody wins"). Love may contain many hard times and slick lines, but it's worth giving a "Fair Shake." Loosen your hair clip and let past regrets stay that way.

Buy this album for the Dave Edmunds fan from Massachusetts with whom you trade tapes and your nose-shaving uncle who constantly raves about seeing 38 Special at Town Point Park last year.
- Gunther 8544

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