This hot elegy album for the dearly departed Lone Justice
is sheer rockabilly road-trip, as well as an illuminating artifact by a smart (albeit frustrated) "crossover" band. Blends of hardcore old-country roots and fast modern originality can be iffy on the charts, but the efforts of post-Emmylou Harris
drummer Don Heffington
, Little Steven collaborator Ryan Hedgecock
on guitar, and bassist Marvin "Mandolin Man" Etzioni are committed. In typical Justice
fashion all songs are tagged by the distinct Kate Pierson
vocals of Maria McKee
; in Emmylou-like "East of Eden" we hear great drums behind a rambly hand jive riff and lots of big-hair yelling. Highway rocker "Ways to Be Wicked" is all tambourines and banshee vibrato, and dramatic Maria gets talkative on stage with the lovestruck "Sweet Sweet Baby." A foot-stompin' good-time record.