Over the past few years, far too many outfits have attempted to weld an aggressive, rock ‘n’ roll attitude to bluegrass, with the failure rate high enough to make one wonder if such a graft is just not in the cards. Either it was dilettante punks who saw the country venue as a fair place to take a whiz, or it was sprightly pickers too square to pull off the requisite strutting, in-your-face posturing.
Neither of these problems apply to Austin’s sassy Meat Purveyors. Chock full o’ chops, brimming with smartass piss ‘n’ vinegar, and spearheaded by the saucy, hellcat vocals of Jo Walston, the Purveyors are good to go, tearing the snot out of time-honored standards and driving Lou Reed into the hills (a hell-bent “What Goes On”) with manic, equal-opportunity ferocity. More importantly, More Songs About Buildings And Cows is even more loaded with original rump-thumpers than 1997′s swell Sweet In The Pants.
Country cornpone and punk ethos hang together with the menacing familiarity of lifer cellmates, spiked by home-brewed compositions from Walston, guitarist Bill Anderson and mandolinist/producer Pete Stiles. Brant Bingamon provides the set-piece with the hilariously obsessive rant on bad neighbors, “We Kill Evil”. Bassist Cherilyn DiMond pipes in with spot-on backing vocals, and Darcie Deaville serves up sizzling fiddle runs.
High stepping, low-balling, gender-bending and crawling with double entendres, More Songs About Buildings And Cows is a delightful, irreverent romp. There’s trouble on tap, and the keg ain’t about to run out soon.