Andy Gassaway is one cool cat. He’s like that guy in high school who had all the racilization on why old rockabilly is the one great genre of music. You know the guy. The one who philosophized on the utter importance of “Free Bird”. This free from hipster-pretentiousness musician has poured gasoline on the wicked and weak with his album Hellfire. Andy might be better known as 1/5 of the fully eccentric group Transient Songs, but our man really breaks out on his own with this beautiful display of electric country that will leave you breathless and desperate for a caffienated honky tonk.
“Old Spare Key”, to put it bluntly, is just Elvis Costello with a southern rock backing. It’s funkadelic, yet strangely hillbilly oriented. The twangs and things never seem to stop as Gassaway pours through his beautiful Petty-esque tales of whiskey dreams and the treachery of overpowering romance (listen to “Come On Back”, its brilliant). But, with the distinguishable country twang of Hellfire comes a brilliant garage pop edge that protrudes on through to the other side of genre crashing hellfire (all pun intended).
When Gassaway oh so smoothly states “you’re pipe dream baby”, you know he has fallen for the beautiful denial that must be love. And that is the beauty of Hellfire. This album is life. This album is truth. This is a beautiful roots driven record that deserves a dozen spins on those dreary afternoons you might have started with the lagers a bit too early. But, you love life. You love truth. You love Andy Gassaway.
Download: “Just Won’t Do” by Andy Gassaway
Indian Casino Records [CD, 2010]
2. Nom De Plume
3. Old Spare Key
4. Primrose Freeway
5. Havana Loon
7. Come On Back
8. Fall For Anything
9. Just Won’t Do
10. My Girl