Don’t forget the whiskey….

With their superb “Tennessee Mojo” record a couple of years ago, The Cadillac Three made the best type of slow burning breakthrough. If you take MV’s first experience with the trio, it came as the middle band in a three act bill in the smallest room of a Birmingham gig venue.  Fast forward 12 months and they were headliners in the downstairs room, and there weren’t many seats to be had either.

Move things on again just a few short months and its time for “Bury Me In My Boots”, with the question burning if is it the one? That is to say is it the record to move them even further on?

The answer is probably yes, given that it plays it safe and preaches to the already converted. Arguably more of a country record than “…Mojo” perhaps – there is more than a hint of Eric Church about the title track for example – it is still capable of rousing the rabble, as on the positively uproarious “Slide”, but those moments are a little fewer and further between than you might possibly expect.

Mostly “….Boots” does laid-back. “Drunk Like You” is a simple love song, the first single “Graffiti” with its echoes of Gaslight Anthem is one of the best things on offer with its tales of blue collar small town America.

Elsewhere “Buzzin’” is kinda like what Aerosmith would do a country song, and mostly they just fancy a backyard shindig. The problem is that some of these are a little throwaway. “Party Like You” lives and dies by its brilliant chorus – TC3 singer Jaren Johnston is a songwriter with a string of number one hits to his credit for other artists, this will get him one with the day job – but “Shipfaced” misses the target in honesty, and “Soundtrack To A Sixpack” is solely designed to be played live, where it will probably sound great. Here on record it’s all a bit Kid Rock.

There are also a clutch of songs that you’ve heard before – literally. “White Lightning” – in whatever form it appears –  is a gorgeous love song, “The South” and “Peace, Love And Dixie” are statements of defiance and “Hot Damn” is filler – just like they were when they were on the other releases they’ve been on.

In amongst all this are two absolute gems. “Runnin’ Red Lights” – which closes things is a tale of real heartbreak – and “This Accent” might be yet another of being a Simple Kind Of Man, but my its done well, with a Bruce Springsteen air of stoicism.

If we are honest about this, then “Bury Me In My Boots” isn’t quite the classic you might have hoped TC3 would deliver. That will surely come, they are after all too talented for it not to, this though has the slight air of not quite taking enough chances and a kind of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” feel.

It’ll sell by the bucketload mind you –  and they’ll still be ace live.

Rating 7/10

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