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Punk Poet

Tate Moore

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Album Review

Don't be mislead by the album's title; this isn't punk or even punk inspired. The ex-Kudzu Kings frontman rounds up some members of his old band, gets serious, and goes the solo route with a short but compact Americana album. It's rugged country-rock played with class and restraint. Tate Moore's voice has the scratchy quality of Bob Dylan in his "Watching the River Flow" period and the music has a similar slant. Echoes of the Band and J.J. Cale can be heard along with Rodney Crowell and any number of rootsy singer/songwriters. The style is dialed down a few notches from the Kudzu Kings' more raucous, bar band approach and lyrically it's also subtler. Moore takes the first person in many of these lyrically downbeat tunes but he doesn't seem to be in particularly positive spirits. "I'm a punk broke lazy crazy getting old" he sings, comma-free, on the title track and says he's "about ready to fade into oblivion" on "Oblivion." The songs are short — only four break the three-minute barrier — which means Moore says what he has to, occasionally throws in a short guitar break, then moves on. The sessions were recorded in Mississippi and the atmosphere might help provide a no-frills, greasy backwoods feel. Nine backing musicians are listed in the credits, but they sure don't play at the same time because these tunes are stripped way down, in many cases to just acoustic guitar, stand up bass, and brushed drums. Hands off production by drummer Ted "Zaney" Gainey and guitarist Chris Hudson perfectly captures the bluesy, gritty yet easy rolling honky tonk that drives this inspired album. The only disappointment is that it ends too soon.

Punk Poet, Tate Moore
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