Dust Bowl Heart
Doc Fell and Co.
Independent Release, 2017
Doc Fell and Co. are men out of time and place, and don’t no one need to bring them up to date anytime soon. Before there was the Outlaw Country label, it was just country music. Filled with heartache, loss and hard times as the main course of most of the songs. Doc Fell and Co., are smart enough to realize it’s best not to mess with what makes something great and truly memorable.
Equal parts honky tonk, and traditional storytelling, there’s no country rock musings or attempts at a crossover. They sound like all their musical inspirations peaked in 1955. The sole exception being the irresistible “Broken Heart.”
“Lonesomeville” is high drama at it’s finest. Shuffling easily, the song calls to mind tube radios and drought. “Dandelions” resigns itself to whiskey and fate. “Might as well go crazy, before we go insane/Realize we’re dandelions dancing in a hurricane.” “Lovesick” is a swinging two step that’s be at home on a Friday night dance with Bob Wills hosting. Same with title track “Dust Bowl Heart.”
This is one of the finest Americana albums in recent memory. Noticeably out of step with contemporary Nashville, but that’s fine. Most of those songs will be forgotten like yesterdays mayflies. Here, the remains of heartbreak and bad luck are reassembled and re-purposed. Dust Bowl Heart falls in the category of minor genius. And any day, I’d rather be privy to a small masterpiece than an enormous piece of garbage.
Doc Fell and Co. are an unassuming American treasure waiting for you to discover them.