Pernell Reichert and The Hard Drinkers Pernell Reichert and The Hard Drinkers

By calling his backing band the Hard Drinkers, Pernell Reichert ensures he gets a certain amount of interest and goodwill from audiences wherever he plays. He also ensures they don’t take his music too seriously. The Vancouver three-piece play full-blooded, breathless country punk. This self-titled album, Reichert’s third commercially available release, goes some way to capturing the essence of their raucous live performances. A former Alberta oil worker, Reichert understands folk and country musicianship. His fast finger-picking guitar style is borrowed from bluegrass, and he’s equally adept playing banjo and electric slide. But he’s no stickler for tradition. "Movin’ On” is a full-blown blues rock number complete with distorted vocals and squealing guitar. Reichert’s melodies, notably on "Easier Being Poor” and "If I Was An American,” have a Dylan quality. The album is epitomised by "Colt 45’s and Welfare Lines,” an enlivening opening track with an irresistible up-tempo feel. (Thurlow Brushfield)