The Mother Truckers is a perfect moniker for this Austin based bar band. Their name screams to the world that they are both a country band and an irreverent bunch. Their loud country music often crosses the border into rock 'n roll especially when lead guitarist Josh Zee lets loose with one of his wailing solos on almost every song.
During their October 26th show at Austin's Continental Club I immediately realized this was no ordinary bar band. Zee has been voted the city’s best electric guitarist, Teal Collins was recognized as Austin’s best female voice, and the quartet was honored as "Best Roots Rock Band" at the most recent Austin Music Awards. Their lively gig, in which Collins was the most dynamic personality, enticed me to purchase their 2002 debut CD immediately after their show.
Something Worth Dying For is a party in your own home. The sentiments expressed in their often humorous lyrics are far removed from anything associated with the wine and cheese crowd. Collins and Zee sing of double-wides and "Daiquiris and Dice," (a song about a lonely person in a relationship taking a back seat to his or her lover's drinking and gambling). Other titles such as "Behind The Bleachers" and "Put Down the Gun" tell you all you need to know about the subject matter of their songs. "We Were Getting High" is very disturbing because it appears to celebrate the "joys" of heroin. Unfortunately its catchy melody forces you to sing along until you realize what you are singing. Let’s hope I’m reading more into the lyrics than I should be.
Except for that misstep the quartet is excellent and singer Collins is indeed a true talent. You need to hear her multi-tracked voice on the CD's cute hidden track, the upbeat 50s tune "You Belong To Me" for a real taste of what she can do vocally when unencumbered by a loud rocking rhythm section.
The Mother Truckers, who once opened for Merle Haggard, released their second album Broke, Not Broken earlier this year.