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'Women & Work'
(ATO Records)

Phil Kane

phil kane

lucero women and work

Here you are then, a good dose of rocked up Americana of the kind you'd get if The Boss jammed with Tom Petty and The Georgia Satellites. It is blue collar poetry with redneck guitars giving you a slice of prime Americana tale telling.

With a slice-of-life sadness and world weary perceptiveness of the likes of Drive By Truckers and Bottle Rockets, 'Women & Work' is an album of horn driven, boogie woogie piano tinged rocked up soul of the kind that seems to be made for the big empty sky and wide open spaces of the American prairielands where a road can seem to go straight as a dye into eternity.

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Lucero's website describes 'Women & Work' as a love song to Memphis and guitarist/vocalist Ben Nichols is quoted as saying, "You work all week, thinking about women and the weekend... 'Downtown' is Friday night, 'Go Easy' is Sunday morning. The rest of the record is the party in between."

And that it is, yet don't expect something that is happy clappy smiley party time because there's a deep dark undercurrent to this album that reflects the faux bonhomie of your average boozy Saturday night out on the town. The beauty of 'Women & Work' is that it could apply to anywhere in the world.

These are tales that have a warmth and soul that can only be found after a heart has been broken, the veneer of expectation has been replaced by the patina of disappointment and any desire for perfection has yielded to the unrelenting march of bemused resignation.

'Women & Work' contains no instant hits, at least not in the pop sense. The album is more like a book, where the whole is far great than its constituent parts. It's an album that takes you on a journey and like that journey it ebbs and flows with its characters and situations.

'Women & Work' would sound equally at home blasting out of the kitchen of a lonely diner as it would on the stereo of an open topped car and in fact, if I could, the top of the works van would be rolled back as it heads down the A39.

Being, I think, the band's ninth album, on one level 'Women & Work' is an excellent good time southern tinged rock and roller yet on another it is a deeper, briefly contemplatative study on life out in the small town badlands.

Either way, it deserves your attention pretty damn soon.




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