What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of Portland, Oregon? To be honest, I never think of Portland unless there is a trivia question involving which NBA team holds the honor for most convicted players on a team. In the same regard I highly doubt a lot of people in Portland think of Nashville unless the subject of inbreeding or something deep fried comes up in conversation. So, imagine my very pleasant surprise to discover the thriving alt-country, Americana music scene in the great Northwest. It seems that every other band I come across these days is from that scene. Truckstop Darlin' caught my attention as they made several top ten best of 2010 lists. They may be a long way from the deep south but I can tell you that they would fit just fine unless they publicly denounced fried chicken and BBQ.
As soon as I purchased this CD I knew by the end of it that it would be on heavy rotation. When it comes to music, everyone has their own opinion of what is a good or bad song. My opinion of Truckstop Darlin' self titled CD is that it gets better the deeper the tracks go. That isn't to say the opening tracks are weak, far from it, just that by the time the last track is played you are wanting more. The final track "Daniel Johnston" is my favorite track and if you are familiar with Daniel Johnston you will really appreciate this song. A close second is the track "Broken Valentine". The lyrics "she drives an 84 Camaro/Pin stripes blacker than her eyes/Black vinyl seats and old crow whiskey/she might just kill herself tonight" are describing someone we have all encountered in life and in some cases have probably known to have the tragic end result. #19 is another rockin' tune that would fit in nicely with the DBT catalog, yes, it is that good. I honestly do not consider any songs to be filler on this CD as they all are well written and played with passion.
Too often today you hear folks saying the music industry is dead, blah, blah, blah. Major labels may be suffering but is anyone really shedding a tear over that. I have honestly found more great music the last couple of years than I have the last decade. The independent bands still struggle as they always have but now the playing field is a little more level thanks to the internet. This gives me hope that bands like Truckstop Darlin will be able to continue to supply us with quality music for years to come. I don't know if they will ever tour the Southeast or not but I can say with confidence I will be there if they do.