The Lucky Ones are Canadian and this is their second album.
Since releasing their self-titled debut album in 2021, The Lucky Ones has quickly come to be regarded as one of Canada’s finest roots ensembles. Hailing from Yukon, the group’s sound is built on a foundation of traditional bluegrass and honky tonk, albeit expressed through the distinctive songwriting of its core members – singer/guitarist Ian Smith, singer/guitarist JD McCallen, singer mandolinist Ryan James West singer/fiddler Kieran Poile, upright bassist Jeff Dineley and banjo/pedal steel player Ryan McNally.
Running at just 26 minutes 38 seconds this album features nine story songs.
The first, “Kate And Dan”, is a tale of a Bonnie and Clyde type couple who end up getting hung. Or hanged. Either way, I love country songs with hangings in them, so I’m already hooked. It ended too soon.
Don’t try and dance to the next track, “Broken Bow Stomp “if you’re on medication.
I kept expecting this to do something I’d heard before because it reminded me of everything else that sound like this. But I don’t listen to enough bluegrass, so that’s the because there then. It’s a story with no words. Sometimes they’re the best.
Now we come to “Goodbye Train”. In another universe, on a parallel planet, one where The Eagles hadn’t discovered spandex, this would be a track on their thirteenth album.
“Keno City Love Songs” sounds as if John Prine just crashed into the session with a great new song.
Track five is a “Fifth Of You” and it’s a good old drinking song. We’ve all been there. Or here? As the song says, when the devil triples the shots a jack won’t do, I’m still thirsty for a fifth of you. Now go whisper that in someone’s ear.
Track six is “Jake”. This could have been on Music From The Big Pink but it’s by The Lucky Ones instead of The Band. Which is sort of a shame. For the song.
“Bones” sounds like a track from one of those bluegrass compilation albums where a bunch of bluegrass bands get together to reinterpret songs from Bob Dylan’s Bringing It All Back Home. Except it isn’t a Bob Dylan song.
Track eight is “Red The Skies” This is a waltz. Or a two step or something. Timings not my thing. I was so busy trying to move my feet in time with the beat that I forgot to hear the words. Something about pirates? I hope not.
“My Gal Is Good To Me” jelly rolls along with busted barrelhouse piano. I’m really glad they decided not to use the spittoon novelty sound effect. If you can walk home whistling this then you know you’ve had a good time.
Watch out Yukon, you might just lose these babies.