Thriftstore Masterpiece, the brainchild of Portland Oregon producer, Charles Normal is a revolving super-group of composed of indie-rock icons from bands such as the Pixies, The Dandy Warhols, Modest Mouse, and Art Brut, as well as solo artists Pete Yorn and the late Larry Norman.
Promoted as the first of a series of albums that pay homage to “underdog records of years past” this debut album, Trouble Is a Lonesome Town is a re-make of the 1963 Lee Hazlewood album of the same name.
Set to be released on July 9 by SideOneDummy Records, Trouble is a concept album about a small western town and various tales about some of its residents which makes listening to the album in its entirety seem like a stroll through a good story.
Musically, the album starts out with “Long Black Train” which sounds like a Spanish country tune like the songs Marty Robbins used to do. “We All Make the Flowers Grow” gives us a taste of folk music. The song “Run Boy Run” is reminescent of some of the early stuff that Johnny Cash did. Later in the album, Courtney Taylor-Taylor from the band The Dandy Warhols comes in and starts giving the album a completely different feel with “Look At That Woman” which has an almost Pink Floyd feel to it. The album closes with its most “country music” sounding song of all, “Trouble is a Lonesome Town” which is performed by the late contemporary Christian music pioneer Larry Norman.
Overall, the album has a varied music aesthetic and could appeal to fans of various genres.
This 10-song album is a perfect blend of country and indie-rock and if it was Charles Normal’s intention to interest people in the album that this one pays homage to, his point is definitely made and I’m looking forward to seeing what else Mr. Normal has up his sleeve for next time around.