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Issue 62 - Rough diamonds

Whisky Magazine Issue 62
March 2007


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Rough diamonds

Our music guru showcases one of the bright new talents to break out of America. More perfect whisky music

You've just got to love a band who start one of their tracks with the lines (and please note the lack of capital letters): I've been trying to get people to call me freddy knuckles. people keep calling me right said fred. it's hard to keep trying when half your friends are dying. it's hard to hold steady when half your friends are dead.

Sure enough when The Hold Steady burst out of America a few months back critics in the know started describing them as the first truly great rock band of the new millennium.

The peach above is taken from The Hold Steady's last album, called The Hold Steady Almost Killed Me, and it comes thoroughly recommended.

Indeed old dim ears here bought it before Christmas in the mistaken belief it was the most recent one, thrashed it over the festive period and declared it a love affair set for the longest of long terms.

So imagine my surprise and delight when I stumbled on the fact that the new album is actually called Boys and Girls in America and it's just as good.

The Hold Steady would be the first to admit that what they're doing isn't particularly new or ground-breaking. But they have taken a blueprint first laid down by Bruce Springsteen back at the time of Greetings From Astbury Park and Born To Run, and dragged it through the decades calling in on the likes of The Replacements and Paul Westerberg, Johnnie The Fox era Phil Lynott and even Alex Harvey on the way.

The funfairs and boardwalks have rusted and rotted, the shouts of defiance of S...

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