Every week, we tell you about an album we think you need to spend some time with. This week’s album is the sophomore album from the Cadillac Three, Bury Me in My Boots.
Look, I’m as bummed as you that this week’s Album of the Week is not whatever the hell Frank Ocean’s Boys Don’t Cry actually is. But as a society, we need to move on from that dude and his non sequitur woodworking projects and his repeated refusal to just finish his album and release it. There was a ton of music released last week that, you know, actually came out, and there’s no point in dwelling on shit that isn’t going to drop till 2019. Which is to say that the Cadillac Three’s sophomore album, Bury Me in My Boots, is this week’s Album of the Week, and it is a very fun way to spend 47 minutes.
Formed from the ashes of a variety of Southern-fried rock bands, the Cadillac Three ended up at Big Machine Records—label of T. Swift—through what I think you can consider attrition; no rock band is making songs like “I’m Southern” anymore—at least not since the Black Crowes—so they ended up at a country label by elimination. A power trio, they’ve made the rounds touring hard behind their self-titled debut, becoming probably the only U.S. country act to issue U.K.-only E.P.’s to whet appetites for international tours.
Which is not to suggest that they are some “alternative” to the beaches, blondes and beers modus operandi in country music. This is not that. Bury Me has songs about women sliding on over (“Slide”), painting graffiti on the sides of water towers with a woman (“Graffiti”), how hanging with a woman is similar to the effect of alcohol (“Buzzin’”), and how a woman is super hot (“Hot Damn”). There are songs about drinking booze on boats (the hilarious, perfect “Ship Faced”) and what songs are perfect to soundtrack drinking moonshine and a cold one (“Soundtrack to a Six Pack”).
However, there’s a streak of southern exceptionalism that runs through Cadillac Three’s two albums, and particularly this one, that feels different than the kind introduced to country music by “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy.” These are dudes who love the south, and want to celebrate the parts of it that aren’t a cliché; they live and die in the south of small towns on “The South,” and they wear their accents as a badge of pride on “This Accent.” “Bury Me in My Boots” is much better than its sloganeering title and chorus suggest; there are shouts to ratty friends, and living life with a half-full hourglass. It’s the best-written song about a funeral you’ll hear this year.
Bury Me in My Boots is a solid brand extension, another 14 songs Cadillac Three can shred to in front of a crowd of sunburned people holding coozie-less domestic beers. They’re not a band destined for an Exile on Main Street or a Hotel California, but that doesn’t matter; Bury Me is the only soundtrack your cookouts need for the rest of August.
Andrew Winistorfer is Senior Director of Music and Editorial at Vinyl Me, Please, and a writer and editor of their books, 100 Albums You Need in Your Collection and The Best Record Stores in the United States. He’s written Listening Notes for more than 30 VMP releases, co-produced multiple VMP Anthologies, and executive produced the VMP Anthologies The Story of Vanguard, The Story of Willie Nelson, Miles Davis: The Electric Years and The Story of Waylon Jennings. He lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota.