Where would country music be without songs about booze, tattoos, gasoline, God, the devil, one-way streets, broken cars, broken hearts, and broken bones? Somewhere between the grit of X and the dusty road poetry of Merle Haggard stands Porter Hall Tennessee, all whiskey swagger and eyes shooting daggers. Singers/guitarists Molly Conley and Gary Roadarmel perfect the old-timey, honky-tonk feel of good country on Welcome to Porter Hall Tennessee and pepper the lovely layers of pedal steel, banjo, and fiddle with slightly off-kilter harmonies. But the CD isn't all longing glances across the bar and white picket fences. Welcome features songs like "Golden Chain of Hate," with these softly sung lyrics: "Whiskey, whores, and overtime have taken her place/Now that she's gone/I took to sleeping with a bottle now/That way I never wake up alone." If that doesn't put a tear in your beer, just open another one, put this disc on repeat, and wait. Check out Porter Hall Tennessee with Hank Williams III (see article in Performance) at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 22, at the Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-564-1074. -- Audra Schroeder
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