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Waxed - Record Review from Issue #15 May-June 1998

Lou Ford

Sad, But Familiar (Sorry Ass)

Neither a solo artist nor a car dealership, Lou Ford is a Charlotte, North Carolina, quartet whose “So Far Gone” was arguably the highlight of the Revival compilation of Carolina-region roots bands. (For those who might care, the band is named after a character in a Jim Thompson novel.)

“So Far Gone” also was on an earlier Lou Ford EP, and it shows up once again here, all yearning vocals and dusty guitars. This song — the whole album, really — sounds like the product of a childhood spent listening to a cool aunt or uncle’s well-worn copies of Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere and The Gilded Palace Of Sin, with Exile On Main Street and, perhaps, Who’s Next added to the turntable stack to ensure a well-rounded education.

Keyboards, pedal steel and fiddle are used effectively throughout to supplement the band’s standard two guitars/bass/drums lineup. Overall, it’s a rather somber affair, but a quirky sense of humor does pop up occasionally to lighten the melancholy mood, as on the chorus of “The Part Of You”: “We live a made-for-TV movie/You gave my part to Gary Busey/Now who’s gonna play the part of you?”

All in all, there’s the comfort afforded by a certain level of recognition without the uneasiness of deja vu. You know, sad but familiar.

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Originally Featured in Issue #15 May-June 1998

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