I drove from Los Angeles to Las Vegas last month. I brought along fifteen or twenty of my most trusty CDs for the excursion, but I was unable to find one that matched the mood of the long, desolate trip down Interstate 15. If only I’d had Rev. Neil Down’s “American Friend” along for the ride-the best rockabilly album I’ve heard in, well… ever, I guess.
The good Reverend’s booming baritone has drawn many comparisons to that of another eclectic rocker-the great Jim Morrison. “American Friend” (recorded in Canada, eh-ronically eh-nough) includes as much lyrical diversity as it does instrumental variety. Accordions and harmonicas accent lyrics that celebrate love, alcohol, the working man, and life in general. Down incorporates honky-tonk and blues, along with a marriage of jazz and classic rock to make this ten track disk a unique conglomeration of seemingly opposed sounds. Rev. Neil Down dedicates his album to “everybody that [he’s] ever let down”. Buy his project and you won’t be one of those people.