Paladino Self-Release

This Los Angeles band is front by Jonathan Harkham who is the band lead vocalist and songwriter but is ably backed up by his fellow band members who deliver an energetic mix of country and the numerous influences that the players varied background bring to bear on the songs. The songs on the album are a mix of Harkham originals and covers. The covers included a starker Green Green Grass Of Home than many may be used to. Harkham is joined by other band members who back up his dead-pan vocals add range to the vocal array. Another classic song given the Paladino treatment is Have You Ever Been Lonely which has some melodic guitar to help it along. Here I Lie and Dim & Gutless JIg have a tempo and attitude that suggest a punk rock lineage somewhere along the way. This gives them a sound that may be a little rough edged for those more used to the polished fake-pearls of mainstream radio but will equally find them favour with others who like their country music in a rawer state. The album closed with Harlan Howard's Too Many Rivers To Cross and it sets a standard of simplicity and clarity in the writing that Harkham may have not yet achieved but for which he is no doubt reaching. In Paladino he has assembled a quartet of fellow players with whom he can explore the possibilities of the amalgam of such a traditional format melded with less traditional influences. The end result here is full of energy and exhilaration that makes their music something that many will find favour with and will, doubtless, return to.