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Music Review: Ned Van Go is roadhouse-ready on CD

Tuesday - 7/23/2013, 12:40pm  ET

This CD cover image released by DSF shows "Lost in the Trouble," by Ned Van Go. (AP Photo/DSF)

STEVEN WINE
Associated Press

Ned Van Go, "Lost in the Trouble" (DSF)

As their song titles suggest, Kentucky-based Ned Van Go play roadhouse rock like a band that loves the sound of broken glass. Here's a partial list of tunes on "Lost in the Trouble":

"1000 Dollar Car" -- The guitars are angry, the lyrics funny.

"Poor White Trash Southern Reputation Blues" -- The band ponders regional socio-economic bias to a square-dance beat.

"Pickaxe, Shovel and Dynamite" -- The best song so far this year about disinterment.

"Hog Rock Road" -- This sounds like a bar fight, and a good one.

"Drunk Like Shane MacGowan" -- As opposed to being drunk unlike Shane MacGowan.

Ned Van Go's fifth album makes a strong case that they deserve a wider audience. While the band can rock like Ned Zeppelin or Ned Van Halen, the Van Gos like their twang too, and play with a cohesion befitting a group that has spent lots of time together in a van.

Frontman Ned Hill's a fine songwriter, and the quartet also includes lead guitarist Bob Grant, who has played with the Bad Livers. Dan Baird of the Georgia Satellites sits in on two songs, and there are guest appearances by Warner Hodges (who has played with Jason and the Scorchers) and Robert Kearns (Bottle Rockets).

Producer Michael Webb (John Fogerty, Poco, Gary Allan) wisely opts for a sound low on gloss and high on energy, whether the band's serving up a poignant Springsteenish blue-collar lament ("Last Factory Song") or a bluegrass breakdown with no banjo ("Copper Bluegrass").

There's also a sweet closing ballad titled "Moon Shine on You." Surprisingly it's not about homemade whiskey.


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