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Album Review

On Happiness, the Good Sons deliver a set of songs that lean less on the Hank Williams or Merle Haggard stylings of past efforts and more on the genre roving likes of Nick Cave and Gram Parsons. With the accompaniment of piano and cello often standing in for Phil Abrams' country rock guitar that dominated previous albums, Michael Weston King's Roy Orbison-flavored vocals stretch majestically across this set of broody lamentations. Opening with a heart wrenching version of "Can't Cry Hard Enough," a David Williams/Marvin Etzioni masterpiece that Victoria Williams brought to public attention in the early '90s, the album touches on themes of infidelity, familial estrangement, sectarian division, and general regret with the clarity of hindsight. Three of the tracks retain the Byrdsian, á la Sweethearts of the Rodeo, flavor of past efforts, thanks to the pedal steel of Alan Cook.


Formed: 1992

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Taking their name from the Nick Cave album of similar title, the Good Sons formed in 1992, building a fan base in the Manchester/Preston area of England from which they came. Their debut album, Singing the Glory Down, which was released in 1995, was well-received by both critics and the alt-country scene that existed in Great Britain at the time. Fronted by Michael Weston King, who cut his teeth in late-'70s and early-'80s Liverpool, the band found their niche in the British market as Americana with...
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Happiness, The Good Sons
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