22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
You Need This,
This review is from: Sundown (Audio CD)
Before the Americana/No Depression music came out, there was Rank And File. Back then it was known as Cowpunk (whatever that meant) as the Kinman Brothers, formerly leading the Punk band Dils, moved to Austin and recuited then unknown Alejandro Escovedo and Slim Evans and became Rank and File. On the album, side one had some heavy hitters such as Amanda Ruth (later covered by the Everly Brothers), Glad I'm Not In Love, and the band named Rank And File to which they throw in part of Ernest Tubb's Thanks a Lot to really throw a curve and The Conductor Wore Black to end things out on a classic note. On the title track Sundown, Tony Kinman's voice echos Johnny Cash, although on further listening, probaly inspired upcoming Nashville singer Josh Turner (probaly not but would it be amazing if Josh Turner had a copy of Sundown tucked there between the Randy Travis and Johnny Cash records in his collection), and thought the next three songs are pretty good, the album ends with the rocking Coyote. Soon afterwards Jason And the Scorchers would surface with their Fervor EP, which later Uncle Tupelo would later incoporate both styles into their No Depression leadoff, but Sundown was pioneering stuff, again falling into the too rock for country and too country for rock radio, which lead some lucky listeners to hear it on public radio (to which I heard the Rank And File song first and was knocked out and it took forever to find the album)
Sadly good things don't seem to last and Alejandro Escovedo left to form the equally just as good True Believers whose albums were reissued on Rykodisc and have fallen out of print but you can still get it fairly cheap but that's another story. Rhino Handmade paired Sundown and Long Gone Dead a limited edition called The Slash Years and copies went by fast. However rejoice in the fact that Collector's Choice has heard the calls and have reissued both Sundown and Long Gone Dead on seperate CDs.
Sooooo, if you want to hear one of the best albums of the 80s, better than anything that MTV ever promote, and if you want to hear the beginnings of Americana, you need Sundown. It's that simple.