The Wolverton Brothers – S/T

I’ve heard the name of The Wolverton Brothers here and there over the past years, but I’ve never heard their music. Apparently, they’ve gathered quite a following for the blend of countrified down-home rockabilly folk. This is a live album that is supposed to pull together their sound for a good introduction. Judging from their studio track on Deary Me’s Cincinnati Music compilation, I think I’d prefer a studio album, but they show that, live, they can sound as good as most recorded bands.

“Big West” is a good example of The Wolverton Brothers’ unique sound. The guitars twang, Johnny Cash riffs are thrown in, and the singer, well, he’s the key to this whole band. His voice warbles and twangs itself, packing in that country sound with enough vocal inflection changes to keep ya grinning. “Hey USA” has a more Southern rock feel to it and a little less of the country sound. But the next track is deep south country, with especially twangy vocals and the line “if you don’t like how I’m living, you can just leave this long haired country boy alone.” “Paycheck” sounds like it would be a real crowd pleaser, with its fast, rockabilly beat and the singer’s cry of “weeeeeeeeeellll.” “Wickedly Wack” has a cool, Jimmy Dean-style surf-country guitar riff running along underneath the song. They do a rocking cover of a Tony Joe White song called “Poke Salad Annie,” that rocks in a deep-southern feel. And “Love City/Rock-n-Roll Pt. 3” finishes off with a hard-rockin’ song that really makes you long to hear these guys in a smokey bar with a bottle of beer in your hand.

The Wolverton Brothers would be right at home here in Colorado, where popular locals like Slim Cessna’s Auto Club and the 32-20 Jug Band are big draws. In fact, just judging from Singer Tim Schwallie’s vocals, I think he’s probably quite a showman, much like Slim mentioned above. And, judging by the energy and high sound quality of this live recording, I bet they’d put on a damn fine show.