Lucky To Be Alive

Confederate Railroad

BFD Records, 2017

http://www.confederaterailroad.net

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 12/09/2017

It had been nearly a decade since the last release from the Grammy-nominated Confederate Railroad, but the band delivered well with Lucky To Be Alive. Of course, there was notable help on hand, including Willie Nelson, John Anderson, Colt Ford, and Jerry Glanville (NFL coach). The album touched down at just under the 50th spot on the Billboard Country Albums, and for a good reason; the 12 tunes here are timeless country gold.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The title track “Lucky To Be Alive” gets the party started with a raw, gritty, almost Lynard Skynyrd like mood before the smoother, Waylon Jennings-esque “Played The Game,” which encompasses all the hallmarks of classic country music. Elsewhere, the outfit spreads their wings with bluegrass on “I Don't Feel As Young As I Used To,” where Union Station's Dan Tyminski lends his talents. The more upbeat songs, like the shuffling of “The Man I Am Today,” will get anyone on the dance floor, while the fiery rockin' of “Fast Cars And Guitars And Fine Tuned Women” could soundtrack a barroom fisticuffs.

What many will remember Confederate Railroad for is their 1993 reworking of a Chris Wall song, “Trashy Women.” Here, the band breathes more life into this track in the company of Willie Nelson, John Anderson and Colt Ford among others, ensuring it's the best version of this classic tune to date.

Of course, no good country album is without some balladry. “If I Ever Cross That Line” is an emotional, subdued moment, while the rich, introspective “Somebody Like You” is closer to soft-rock and executed with the precision of the rest of the album.

This seventh album from Confederate Railroad offers plenty for fans of country and Southern rock. Though it's unlikely to convert you if you're not already on board with the genres, it's impressive and rare to see a band so revered in the '90s staying relevant and exciting today.

Rating: B

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