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RACHEL BROWN & THE BEATNIK PLAYBOYS –RACHEL BROWN & THE BEATNIK PLAYBOYS (Self-Released)

ALBUM OF THE MONTH...

www.rechelandthebeatnikplayboys.com

Where has this girl been? For here we have unearthed a real jewel in the form of country, rockabilly singer-songwriter Rachel Brown. As for her band; Bill Watson (bass, Tuba, backing vocals), Dave Huddleston (guitars, backing vocals), Roy King (drums, percussion) and Emma Shook (violin) plus Becky Boyd and Andrew Mortimer on backing vocals, oh boy they are all the business. Produced by Watson the sound obtained is one the best you are likely to come across!  

From Cleveland, Ohio Brown’s vocals and piano playing is complemented perfectly, by her band The Beatnik Playboys. Brown’s rich vocals vie between the finger snapping up beat numbers to those draped in quiet restraint as she pours out her loves and fears of the world, he handling of the likes of “This Ol’ Place” (Gretchen Peters would love to lay claim to it), “Blue Diamond” (both are outstanding) and Nathan Bell’s sombre impassioned ballad “Whiskey, You Win” augment such delights as “Look Who’s Back” and “Count On Me Baby“ and mid-paced pleaser, “Hey My Child” (complete with fetching harmony vocals her story eases to alongside violin, guitar etc as she pledges her love and how she is going to be always there for her sibling) she rings the changes, and they are all good.    

Sure, I love her ballads, and the fashion she delivers the above and likewise on brooding, piano washed affair “Acceptance” (shades of early Reba McEntire) but she also moves beautifully on the rockin’ piano, harmony drenched “Goodbye“. Killer! I believe he (he being Jerry Lee Lewis) would approve of Brown’s swaggering style, and the uninhibited fashion she acquaints herself throughout the record. If I was looking, and I am not even tempted to go there Brown hasn’t the hint of a weak link in her armoury. 

Others songs on the record include, complete with tinkling barroom piano, tuba, lead guitar and harmony vocals "Worn Out Shoes".  She could be set up on Bourbon Street down in New Orleans. While with much grace you have the final offering of Rodney Kidney’s sombre, reflective ode “No Lock No Key”. While a little different from most songs on the album Brown as expected handles the accomplished heart-tugging ballad in regal fashion. 

    Maurice Hope 

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May 2018

1
John Prine
67 pts.
The Tree of Forgiveness
Oh Boy Records
JJC,MB,SP,RM
2
Levi Parham
58 pts.
It's All Good
Continental Records
CRS,JB,TK
3
Jeb Barry and the Pawn Shop Saints
55 pts.
Texas, etc...
DollyRocker
HDB,CVL,DHO
4
Michael McDermott
54 pts.
Out From Under
Continental Song City
JDO,LK,BK
5
Sam Morrow
48 pts.
Concrete and Mud
Forty Below Records
MA,JBO,HB
6
Caleb Caudle
39 pts.
Crushed Coins
Cornelius Chapel Records
 
7
Western Centuries
36 pts.
Songs From The Deluge
Free Dirt Records
MF
8
Carter Sampson
34 pts.
Lucky
Continental Song City
 
9
Charley Crockett
30 pts.
Lonesome as a Shadow
Son of Davy/30 Tigers
 
10
Courtney Marie Andrews
28 pts.
May Your Kindness Remain
Loose Music
JV
11
Ed Romanoff
27 pts.
The Orphan King
Pinerock Records
 
 
Joan Baez
27 pts.
Whistle Down The Wind
Proper Records
HD
 
Pharis and Jason Romero
27 pts.
Sweet Old Religion
Lula Records
SZ,LM
14
Gretchen Peters
24 pts.
Dancing With The Beast
Proper Records
KG
 
Old Crow Medicine Show
24 pts.
Volunteer
Columbia Records
GF
 
Will Stewart
24 pts.
County Seat
Cornelius Chapel Records
 
17
Ben Reel
22 pts.
Land Of Escape
B REEL Records
GC,FC
 
Birds Of Chicago
22 pts.
Love In Wartime
Signature Sounds
 
 
Emily Herring
22 pts.
Gliding
Eight 30 Records
RST,RH
20
Jenny van West
21 pts.
Happiness To Burn
Independent
PJ,FS,JJ
 
Mary Gauthier
21 pts.
Rifles And Rosary Beads
In the Black Records
 
22
Sarah Shook & The Disarmers
20 pts.
Years
Bloodshot Records
FCE
23
David Starr
19 pts.
South And East
Independent
HM
24
Cold Tone Harvest
18 pts.
After You
Independent
 
25
Grant Peeples
17 pts.
Settling Scores vol. 2
Continental

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