North Canada’s band, The Lucky Ones, play the kind of music that I call ‘Moonshine Music’. This isn’t the official term, of course, it’s wider recognised as bluegrass, but for some reason, the style of music and the instruments being played put me in mind of people racing around the countryside in Ford pickups during the prohibition era.
This is the ‘yee-haw’ music of the farmlands, the outdoor picnics on the weekends and the God-fearing industry of the great west. Music where banjo, fiddle and guitar took centre stage long before amplifiers and brass sections came into play. Is it authentic? Who knows, I’m no expert on this style of music, but it holds up to repeat listening and there is much to be enjoyed when it’s clear that the band are having so much fun.
Hailing from the Yukon in Northern Canada, it seems fitting that the album should open with a tale about the tens of thousands of men that visited at the end of the nineteenth century in the Klondike gold rush. It’s a strong opener and spans the centuries by telling how men once searched for gold but then ravaged the earth for another precious commodity in oil.
Immediately you feel that the music is steeped in history and the band know exactly what they are doing, there seems to be care in keeping traditions and adding to the musicians who have come before them because the music and the subject matter is respectful. It’s light-hearted when it needs to be but there is enough talent in the lyrics and writing to hit hard when needed (‘Wish’ tells the story of a man in the trenches at war, wondering what he was doing there and wanting to be home).
I’ll admit, I prefer the lighter songs, the songs that would get me out of my seat after too many beers and make me head to the dancefloor. ‘Since The Farm Got Sold’ and ‘Drunken Goodnight’ are shiny gems on this album and a reminder that the rhythm of this music is so ingrained in the psyche that, when done well, we instinctively start to tap our toes.
It won’t be to everyone’s taste, (but then again what is?) but as bluegrass albums go, this can proudly stand shoulder to shoulder with anything.