Marty Brown

Here's to the Honky Tonks

  • Hightone

You've heard his kind before: He loves hard living except what it does to him; he's down for a serious relationship as long as it includes plenty of yucks and the poetry of it all gets him singing like nobody's business. If it's all too easy to agree with him that love comes easy but goes down hard, he makes it that much easier to swallow a cardboard genre tribute like the title song. Nice, though, how “The Flip Side of Love” doesn't feel the slightest bit smug about how its handsome digital mix equates heartbreak with 45 rpm B-sides. If a guy with this much spunk has a little trouble sounding “Too Lonely, Too Long” his bigger themes sure stand tall. “He Thinks Daddy Hung the Moon” ("...til Momma walks in the room") and “Behind Bars” catches the drift of second-hand alcoholism all too knowingly. This is one guy Dave Alvin oughtta call, right now. A comer with a cool hat.
— Tim Riley