Kev Russell's Junker Buttermilk and Rifles

Don't try to make sense of this record, as some things are just meant to be savoured with rhyme but no reason. Buttermilk and Rifles is Kevin Russell's first solo outing while with the Gourds and he is clearly enjoying himself. It's amazing that for something so rustic and authentic sounding it was recorded using Pro Tools. "It was my first experience with that newfangled gizmo," says Russell, "which makes it possible, to an even greater extent, for any jackass to make a record." So the jackass did just that. Russell wrote songs that convince me he's the Robert Pollard of Americana - perfect nuggets of music with stream of unconsciousness lyrics - albeit a little longer than anything Guided By Voices would ever record. In fact, the words are almost frivolous accessories to the flawless musicianship. You think you've heard it before ("No More The Moon Shines on Lorena"), but when you listen closer, you are delightfully baffled. Buttermilk and Rifles reminds me of those weird little diners and gas stations where you fill-up at in the southern U.S. The songs on Buttermilk and Rifles are endearing and compelling in their overall strangeness. (Sugar Hill)