That supergroup out west, The Panhandlers, are on one again! For those who are not aware, the members include Josh Abbott of the Josh Abbott Band, John Baumann, Flatland Cavalry’s Cleto Cordero and William Clark Green. All these fellas have unique voices and music in their own right, but there are a couple things they all have in common – great songwriting ability and boy do they love West Texas. Now, I personally have no connection or lineage to that part of Texas aside from driving through it, so I can not speak on that region. However, I have heard that it is very rough, rugged and sometimes sketchy out there. I have come to find out that with rough times, you get great music – and that is very clear from The Panhandlers.
On March 3rd, they released their second album, Tough Country. Much like their debut record, it is very evident that these boys have chemistry. The creative juices are at an all-time high throughout this album while showing a lot of diverse style and soul. While the previous release was fantastic of course, Tough Country is a big step up. This doesn’t seem like some record that was slapped together and thrown out for consumption just to please eager fans, either. It appears that the songs were written from the heart, recorded with great care, and pieced together with a purpose. This album is fantastic.
Some highlights throughout Tough Country include “West Texas Is The Best Texas,” a groovy tune with an even groovier bassline floating us through the song and over each Panhandlers’ verse. The title track is also exceptional, but a personal favorite of mine would be “Lajitas” – a humorous story with a goofy vibe that just makes you smile. We even get a Kaitlin Butts credit in “Valentine, For Valentines,” and man do her and Cordero’s voices harmonize so perfectly. It’s just a sweet song with vocal deliveries that will satisfy your soul.
Alright, enough of my yappin’. Listen to Tough Country by The Panhandlers for yourself!