"Yes, I do love 80's music," I said in defense of my rhetorical "Why would anyone listen to Mix 101.5?" Further explaining, "How does anyone have time for 80's music when there is so much tremendous music being made right now, tremendous music which takes considerable effort to seek out and absorb?" My right hand now wielding case-in-point Lonnie Walker These Times, Old Times which is the most recent album of the band whose song "Ships" has seen me beat a steady path to their myspace profile since I stumbled upon them a year ago while setting up one of my many nearly forgotten and rarely used on-line profiles. My debate opponent reported, "Who is Lonnie Walker, I have never heard of him." To which I bantered back, "I rest my case and its not a him, it's a them and they are going to be the next big thing."
Having been a close follower a good year now, These Times, Old Times was met with established expectations. Relief swept over my brow and a grin grew on my face as the first few songs confirmed why I am into this band. In These Times, Old Times, Lonnie Walker's strong and easy Appalachia inspired roots rock turns the unique into the desired. From start to finish, front man Brian Corum struts and swaggers a confident southern twang across a meticulously hip Indy folk album. With a flare for dramatic swells and anthemic truths, this is a story teller album spoken with the urgency and conviction of a thousand choked back emotions. From the sweetly secure stayed-too-long satire of "Wider Than White" to the ice hard tears shed from a vividly graphic "Back Home Inside with You", this album hastily steps to a personal level. Like hearing a plea of heartache over a long distance phone line, listening and relating are natural impulses, binding endearment is a natural reaction.
Harnessing the energy of modern Indy rock and delivered with the southern comfort of Appalachian born folk, these are country boys who grew up on a diet of rock and roll and their music is cooking somewhere in between. Like the galloping "Compass Comforts" would suggest and the polarizing coal miners daughter southern drawl of Cara Beth Satalino heard on "Crochet" will confirm, Lonnie Walker's unique vibe is more than just another flavor of Indy rock but rather cleverly adapted home grown country music reasserting itself with sharper teeth and thicker hide among a surging population of alternative music. You can take the boys out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the boys and the coming-of-age lessons and manifested realizations that are unearthed through this album are the essence of barbed wire and dirt roads.
The new buzz word among industry types who classify and generalize as a means to market is "replay power" which denotes a song's single worthiness based on how likely it is to be listened to and then directly listened to again. The replay power found in the antagonizing hooks and picture frame descriptions of the single worthy "Ships" is wearing grooves in to my CD, but I have a new term to offer the suits; "scribble power," which is madly pressing the reverse search button on a track in attempt to memorize the lyrics. The brilliantly stark and eye widening impact of "Pendulum's Chest" will be the first ever track to earn this description.
The official album release for These Times, Old Times is Saturday May 30, 2009 with a School Kids in-store at 5:00 PM and a release party later that night at Ahpeele Warehouse, 400 Capital Blvd which is Raleigh's newest aspiring multi purpose community venue. I'm scribbling with purpose and barring any 80's songs that suddenly arrest me and captivate my attention I'll know all the words by Saturday. --Carrboro Ninja
MyNC's "Sessions At Studio B" hosted Lonnie Walker recently. The 32 minute performance covers a handful of songs from the album and a few interview questions from the MyNC staffers. Click the MyNC icon left to view.
These Times, Old Times CD release poster
These Times, Old Times album art images
trippy art under the cd
trippy art on the backcover
next to a pencil for reference
next to a cow bell, again for reference
Gandalf the White