press reviews South of Bakersfield

Roots Time reviews ‘South of Bakersfield’

background_menuAnother great review from our friends at Roots Time in Belgium…

Speed Buggy USA is a country punk band from Los Angeles. The band consists of Timbo (vocals, guitar, mandolin), Seth Von Paulus (lead guitar), Christos Hansen (drums), Brady Sloan (bass) and Greg McMullen (pedal steel). Speed Buggy USA is (and I mention here what it says on their website) is “a rockin ‘honky tonk band, their musical inspiration found in the southern swamps of Louisiana and the dusty outback of Bakersfield” (a city in the US state of California the southern San Joaquin Valley).

Speedbugg USA brought in 2000 their album “Cowboys & Aliens” and in 2002 their EP “Round Up”. The eighth album from the band (the successor to the live album “California Country Revival” in 2009) is called “South Of Bakersfield”. This long break has to do with the singer Timbo, which was taken up in front of a brain aneurysm (a widened portion in a part of the vascular system), which is kept him months in bed, and which meant a long rehabilitation.

The sound of the eight tracks on “South Of Bakersfield” is still the thorny R & R sound which the band is known, with the added focus instrumentation and sound of Bakersfield. The album is mainly a country album with the familiar themes. In the opener, “Still Movin ‘On” this is a truck rushing on Highway 99. The California State Route 99, which connects the two ends of the long, north-south oriented Central Valley. In “1000 Miles From Nowhere” Timbo refers to the hard life of a worker. The lingering, sensitive “Wrong Side” (Bunny West in the duets) is choose again between love or the bottle and “Set ‘Em Up” indicates that the “happy hours” are not what they seem or should be. “Rusted Cars” is the only song on the album, which is not related to Bakersfield. The song is about the impact of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, where Timbo by originates. The proceeds from their album “The City That Forgot Gog” (2006) she gave earlier to the Katrina victims. For the ballad “Liars, Thieves & Ramblers’ the band took their inspiration from Woody Guthrie, who often sang about the travelers he met on trains in California. After this there is a short instrumental “Git Yer Wagon Rollin ‘”, which also has to do with trains and in which one imitates the sound of the wheels of a moving train. Exit Speed Buggy USA is doing with “Bakersfield”, the place that inspired the band to make this album.

Speed Buggy USA has always been a leading country band. With their album “South Of Bakersfield” they stand after six years (considering unforeseen circumstances) again, which proves that the band has always been a band of friends. Timbo has recovered sufficiently and wants to return to his. The result is a new, entertaining country album that will delight many fans and pleasing. There is meanwhile working on a new album, there are tour plans, Speed Buggy USA will certainly make themselves heard again. I’m convinced!

Eric Schuurmans


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