Friday ACL Fest 2018 Record Reviews

Asleep at the Wheel

New Routes (Thirty Tigers)

Friday ACL Fest 2018 Record Reviews

Natural headline-grabber on Ray Benson and company's first full-length of Western Swing originals since the fall of the Alamo is set-closing, Red Headed Stranger tribute "Willie Got There First." As clever as the Avett Brothers' composition comes off, with Scott and Seth adding their high mountain harmonies, it completely misses New Routes' stronger thrills: fiddler/co-vocalist Katie Shore's witty 4:20 opener "Jack I'm Mellow" and her Patsy Cline-ish torcher "Call It a Day Tonight." Benson's gruff, folky take on Guy Clark's "Dublin Blues" meets those high-water marks as well. Where Austin's 48-year-old trad country juggernaut transcends is the four-barrel rockabilly revision of Paolo Nutini's double-entendre-soaked "Pencil Full of Lead," rife with Eddie Rivers' Speedy West-ian steel guitar pyrotechnics. (Noon, Honda stage; weekend one only)


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