Meat Purveyors More Songs About Buildings and Cows

The Meat Purveyors may be having a bit of a lark with bluegrass and country, but it’s no joke for them. These relative youngsters from Austin, Texas know how to play, pick, gallop, yelp, holler and harmonise to beat all. From the good-natured ribaldry of "Tallboy" and smirking tales of hard-living in "Little White Pills" to the back-talking sass of "More Man,” guitarist Bill Anderson proves himself as a first-rate songwriter of pithy observation and piercing wit with a singer who complements his songs buoyantly in Jo Stanli Walston. The authenticity and humour of Anderson’s songs would be enough to warrant the highest recommendation, but it’s in their canny choice of covers where the Meat Purveyors stick their necks out and give themselves plenty of reason to crow. The rollicking gospel traditional "Working on a Building" could knock as many people on their asses as any self-respecting faith healer, while actually carrying off the fervent kind of conviction of a revival meeting. The real coup, though, comes when they peel through "What Goes On," a version so brilliantly apt and revelatory that you could be half-convinced that it could have been written by Bill Monroe, not Lou Reed. I love it when roots bands prove that to be respectful needn’t mean being dreary, and on those grounds, the Meat Purveyors give plenty of reason to love them. (Bloodshot)