Black Boot Trio Eternal Return

Long-time favourites of the roots scene in the nation's capital, Black Boot Trio have taken their time between albums. In fact, their previous disc (their third) was 1996's Blood. They make a welcome return to action with Eternal Return — their best recorded work to date. BBT vocalist/guitarist/Steve Fai has a convincingly gruff voice, one that clearly has been inspired by the Man in Black. Johnny Cash actually surfaces in a song lyric ("Give Yourself Away”) and on the liner notes, so his influence is readily acknowledged. Fai's songs are more than ably fleshed-out by comrades Geoff Taylor (bass, lap steel and mandolin) and Steffany Bennett, the hottest drummer in the East. Honorary Boot member Bryan Curry adds lead and rhythm guitar, while Dave Dudley (Furnaceface) co-produces and engineers with real finesse. The album both begins and ends with "Four Horsemen,” a good, shit-kickin’ rockabilly romp, with the tempos of the songs in between mixed just enough to keep things interesting. Their sound is consistently virile, but BBT are not afraid to mix a little sentimentality with some excellent drinking songs that remind you that you don’t have to be smashed to enjoy this. Fans of bands like the Sadies and Southern Culture on the Skids should try Black Boot Trio on for size. (P.A.W.)