With the increasing popularity of the various genres of music loosely grouped under the label “Americana”, there has been a proportionate increase in the number of Honky-Tonk and traditional Country bands. The Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash are best described by the former. Although Honk-Tonk music is on the rise, the true Country bar is a relatively rare sighting. Front man Mark Stuart laments this fact when he sings, “There ain’t no Honky-Tonks in this town, with Smoky bars and neon lights. Ain’t no jukebox in the corner playing Hank songs every night”. Unfortunately, it is hard, but not impossible to find a sawdust covered dance floor that jumps all night.
For those unfamiliar with the band, they are not new on the scene. Mark Stuart formed the band in in the late 90’ and their first album “Walk Alone” was released in 1999. As to the name of the band, it is homage to the patriarchs of Country music. In fact Mark Stuart was given direct permission by Cash to use his name. He was even invited and recorded in The Man in Black’s home studio.
Enough history, Let us fast forward to 2013 and their album “New Old Story”. They have created one of the best Country albums of 2013, and one that will definitely stir up some sawdust on the dance room floor. The sound is a straight forward tribute to what Country should exemplify. There are songs for the road (“Highway bound”), Story songs (“Poor Man’s Son), and love songs (“Bounds of Your Heart”). There is also an appropriate mix of up-tempo and slow dance tunes. On the title cut Stuart sing “We’ve been out here way to long; searchin’ for a brand new song and trying”. Whatever The Bastard Sons have been trying to do for the last 15 or so years, they deliver it on “New Old Story”.
About the author: Chip and his family live in Birmingham, AL. Roll Tide!