The Derailers’ first album without Tony Villanueva finds the band in fine form. Co-founder Brian Hofeldt is not as powerful a singer as his former bandmate, but he is a versatile and confident vocalist.
Producer Buzz Cason, a member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, wrote or co-wrote eight of the album’s fourteen songs. On Cason’s classic “Solider Of Love”, they combine blue-eyed soul and country via Hofeldt’s passionate vocals. The band also rocks more frequently than it has in the past, exemplified best by the mid-album triple punch of “Hey, Valerie!” “Get ‘Er Done” and “Cattin’”.
Country is still the Derailers’ bread and butter. “You’re Looking At The Man” is a shuffle supreme, “Cold Beer, Hot Women & Cool Country Music” is a great album starter, and “Every Time It Rains” is a gorgeous weeper. The spirit of mentor Buck Owens, who passed away in March, lives on in the album-closing “It’s Never Too Late For A Party”.