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2005
| BS 114
$6.95

Empty House

Within their realm of unabashed purveyors of straight, hard-edged honky-tonk, the band still manages to come off as fresh and innovative.

Full Description

On their fourth CD, Rex and the boys deliver on the promise that between nostalgia and progress is timelessness. Within their realm of unabashed purveyors of straight, hard-edged honky-tonk, the band still manages to come off as fresh and innovative. Their outlook from the heart of country music gives them a clear shot at the crux of the identity crisis at its core: Who am I now that she is gone? What will become of me? Why do I keep doing this to myself?

From clownish desperation, to escape fantasies you don’t have the strength to act on, to regret, to being driven to insanity, Rex's old school writing breathes a harrowing honesty back into a form that too often staggers down the Hallmark card aisle. All of this is backed by the Misery Boys' airtight mastery.

These songs may make you want to cry, but you won’t want the guys on the barstools next to you to see that, so grip the frosty mug and just keep smilin', buddy. Just keep smilin'.

CHOICE CUTS:

The Good Ain’t Gone
It Won’t Be Long (And I’ll Be Hating You)---
JOHNNY PAYCHECK COVER
Heartache To Hide

Short Description
  • This retro-leaning quintet shines due to Hobart's songwriting, which combines honky-tonk melodies with the carefully crafted poetry of a barstool psychiatrist [and] the unfettered production allows the listener to hear the space between the instrumental parts; the pedal steel work, in particular, is indispensable.

    — Chicago Sun-Times
  • [They] do it with aplomb, setting the stories to a solid honky-tonk backdrop and trouncing the urge to wallow with humor, self-deprecation and surprise... [It] suggests that misery may be as unstoppable as nature.

    — No Depression
  • Once again they pin country music to its roots while occasionally letting it squirm out and go elsewhere. Hobart's songwriting has always been good, but it makes a leap here. His stories have a literary sense of detail and just about every line contains a painful truth

    — Chicago Reader

Track List

  • 1. The Good Ain't Gone
  • 2. Every Night I Leave You in My Mind
  • 3. Don't Make Me Break Your Heart
  • 4. It Won't Be Long (And I'll Be Hating You)
  • 5. I Just Lost My Mind
  • 6. I Don't Like that Mirror
  • 7. The Tear I Left Behind
  • 8. Empty House Dawn and Twilight
  • 9. Let's Leave Me
  • 10. Heartache to Hide
  • 11. Black Iron Bridge

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