Michael and The Lonesome Playboys 'Last Of The Honky Tonks' - Self-Release

This is Michael Ubaldini who has made some very well received albums under his own name that earned him the moniker of Rock 'n' Roll Poet. This time out he has highlighted his love of old school country music. The Lonesome Playboys are his band and they are well up to the task of make these songs real and include top-notch pedal steel player Gary Brandin. The song hit home from the off with The Last Honky Tonk detailing the demise of that venerable venue and the music that used to be played there. Ubaldini's songs get to the heart of a life on the road (Highway Ghost), or life's weights (When A Freight Train Rolls Right Over You) the latter with a country blues stripped-down resonator guitar setting. Ulbaldini's voice is lived-in and carries that sense of believability that is part and parcel with this music. There are a couple old school songs like Married By The Gospel/Divorced By The Law and My Liver's Bad-My Life's A Mess (And I Blame You Sweetheart) that some may feel show that Ubaldini is sending up the genre rather than being sincere about it. I think he's doing both. He's taking some of the more outlandish titles of the past, often recorded by respected names, and adding to that particular tounge-in-cheek element of country music. But elsewhere the songs have a darker tone as with Low Down Poverty Blues and True Love Denial Blues, both have a country blues thread. But taken in the spirit it was intended there is much here that hits home and make this an enjoyable back road for Ubaldini and for his fans and for fans of edgy country music in general.