The Rizdales How The Marriage Ended

The Rizdales How The Marriage Ended
Given its WASP heritage, you'd expect London, ON, to produce Morris Dancers rather than a fine honky-tonk band. Thankfully, the Rizdales fit the latter category. They're popular on the Ontario country club circuit (and in Texas) and this, their fifth album, deserves to boost their standing further. The songs are all written, produced and sung by Tara and Tom Dunphy, and their vocal harmonizing and trading off are key parts of their sound, as on "It's Not The Baby, Baby" and "The Last Time You Put Me Down." Their style is deeply rooted in '50s and '60s country, with no trace of hipster irony. George and Tammy, or Porter and Dolly, work as reference points. Their band are tight, while ace pedal steel player Burke Carroll guests on several songs. Mating rituals are a theme to many of the tunes, despite the fact that the Dunphys are happily married in real life. "It's Not Me, It's You" is a witty tale of a lousy date (danger sign: he doesn't tip the band) that's an album highlight, while Tara's voice shines on ballad "Don't Turn Around." This is a musical marriage that works. Great pulp noir artwork too. (Independent)