Vince Gill, Tony Brown, & Rodney Crowell. You know them well as hitmakers & architects of contemporary country music. But back in the 70s they were the Cherry Bombs. With "The Notorious Cherry Bombs", their long awaited debut release, they're set to restore your faith in great, timeless country music & the exhilarating power of a world class band. "The Notorious Cherry Bombs" took over 20 years to release but was well worth the wait.
This reunion of singer-songwriters Rodney Crowell
and Vince Gill
with pianist Tony Brown, ace guitarist Richard Bennett, and steel guitarist Hank DeVito sounds like the country equivalent of the Traveling Wilburys
--a veteran supergroup having too much fun to take itself too seriously. Alumni of Emmylou Harris
's Hot Band, the Cherry Bombs were Crowell's backing band in the '70s. Since then, Gill has become a star, Brown has become better known as a label executive, and Bennett has seen considerable demand as a producer. Starting with a call to loosen up on "Let It Go, Let It Ride," the album shows a spirit of playful camaraderie. It's tough to imagine either Crowell or Gill putting a cut titled "It's Hard to Kiss the Lips at Night That Chew Your Ass Out All Day Long" on one of their own albums, but the collaboration here is a honky-tonk highlight. DeVito remains the band's secret songwriting weapon, as "Wait a Minute" (in collaboration with Crowell) and a revival of "Sweet Little Lisa" (previously recorded by Dave Edmunds
) capture the exhilaration of early rock & roll. A former gospel pianist, Brown adds revivalist preaching to this busmen's holiday. --Don McLeese