First You Live
Dusty Rhodes – or Dustin Apodaca to his mum – heads up the River Band, a gang of southern rocking musicians with a swagger in their step and some good old-fashioned moonshine in their hipflasks. At times it sounds like they might have too much super-strength booze swimming amidst their number, as ‘First You Live’ wobbles precariously on that thin line between rather drunk and utterly rat-arsed. It’s no bother though, because these seeming pissheads sound so lovely. Like on the Shane MacGowan-esque ‘Oh Icicle’, or the equally rousing ‘Leaving Tennessee’, an up-all-night take on The Flying Burrito Brothers ready for a ruckus. The hectic-but-haunting violin of ‘Ghost Trails’ and grinding riffs of ‘Street Fighter’ are further proof that country’s far from dead.