The title of the album kinda says it all. This is music for taverns, bars and honkytonks. It also works well in pickup trucks, long haul big rigs and small local music venues such as the Aviary in Edmonton, which is where I got to hear Sean and his bandmates at work.
The evening opened with the southern Alberta country sounds of Boots Graham, a purveyor of the Carter claw style of guitar playing and slice of life story songs. The songs are traditional country themes such as broken hearts and empty bottles but Boots is an engaging and entertaining performer who plays and sings effortlessly. I can image him around a campfire drinking beer out of a tailgate cooler and hootin’ and hollerin’ louder than the coyotes. Boots was fun and a really good intro for Sean Burns and Lost Country.
Sean is a personable performer who is comfortable in his role of country troubadour. His band is tight and obviously have fun playing together. Inspired by such west coast legends such as Bakersfield’s Buck Owens, the Oklahoma legend Merle Haggard, and Texans Ray Price and Johnny Bush, the album was recorded at Hillside Hideout in Alexander, MB; and Tres Mariachis in Nashville, TN. Produced by Canada’s guitar wizard Grant Siemens, and recorded & mixed by Scott Franchuk (JUNO and Polaris Prize nominated Engineer), the album features Sean's band Lost Country (Joanna Miller, Bernie Thiessen, Grant Siemens) with heavy hitters Big Dave McLean, Chris Scruggs, and Harry Stinson lending their talents as well. A guest appearance was put in by Skinny Dyck on pedal steel guitar that played well off the rest of the band at the Aviary.
This is down to earth, well-grounded, scuffed cowboy boots and bent straw cowboy hats music. Well, I had the scuffed boots and the only cowboy hat in the crowd that night but we clapped along and there was more than one hoot and holler from the back of the room to show our appreciation of the effort they were making to entertain us. It was fun, it was country and it was a good night out. The Aviary is a small venue that hosts a good variety of music but for one night anyhow it was a tavern, a bar, and a honkytonk.
Norman Weatherly | Weathered Music