Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys

Once upon a time, America had more to worry about than whether Elvis' shaking hips would lead to premarital sex. There was a war, a very Cold War. Children would bury time capsules so that future generations could retrieve from the Earth just a little slice of American life. Future generations could do worse than excavate Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys, voluntary stowaways in a 50-year-old chronological vacuum. After a dose of understandable confusion in "Power of the 45" ("Mommy, what's a 45?"), prospective progeny might travel back to a time when country music was still country music (unless it was Western swing), through old-school R&B horns in "Slippin' Away," a Beatlesesque guitar lick in "The Great State of Misery," the cowpoke push of "Ruby Jane," and the sweetest steel guitar you'll ever hear on an ode to high heels with a naughty streak ("Haunted Heels"). And it's all delivered with warm and guileless vocals, a testament to accomplished rock 'n' roll traditionalists — without that pesky nuclear cloud.

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