Review by Peter Karoly
As I am writing this, it is Marion Morrison's birthday and, as we all know, we would be celebrating if we knew who that was. Almost everyone agreed that was not a name that would be up in lights, so he changed it to John Wayne and, as we all know, the rest is history.
The same can probably be said for David W. Goodrich. Now, don't get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with that name. It is a fine name, but I don't think I would be inclined to buy a CD by someone of that name unless I knew him. So he changed it for all the right reasons and, man, do I like the change.
Cash O’Riley (how good is that!?!) has a six-track CD out called Stag Volume: 1 and not only is the name right, but the photos are, too: the cover of a stiletto heel shoe, the back of a ruffled tuxedo shirt, and the inside of a movie projector! With that title and those pics,I was expecting something perhaps a little risqué, but what I got was a lot more Rusty Draper than Rusty Warren.
I tried to go to the official website, www.cashoriley.com, but it is undergoing changes, and I couldn't get any information. I found one that is supposedly set up by Cash's dad so what I found came from that site. From what I can gather, Cash usually plays out with his band, the Downright Daddies, made up of drummer Joe Simpson and bassist Rayce Ribble (another great name). The Michigan-based band has been making appearances around the country for several years. All of this playing has provided the trio with a chance to refine the rockabilly, and that is exactly what has been going on.
The opening cut is "Better To Be Alone" and it is a hopped-up little number that, if you didn't like rockabilly before, you will after this. My only criticism of the CD is that the rest of the songs don’t maintain this intensity, but I don't know of too many artists who could keep up this pace. Cash also runs the old Hank Williams standard "Kawliga" through the wringer and pumps new life into the old wooden Indian.
The second track, "Wagon Wheel" (a cover of Old Crow Medicine Show), is so infectious that, when I woke up last week, I found myself humming the song while I got ready for work. The remaining songs are "Swore You Were Wrong (05)," "Blood and Tears" (another cover song), and "What’s Taking You So Long?" They sound more like contemporary country, which is just fine, but I like rockabilly with a passion; so, while strong songs, they are further down the list with me. This CD is still a strong effort and one that I recommend. It’s especially good while driving in the car, but keep your eye on the speedometer. You're liable to be going a few miles faster when a some of these get cued up. There is another CD available, titled Booze, Lust, Lies and Heartache (which I'd buy just for the title!), and from all accounts that one rocks, too.
My recommendation is that, if you get the chance, check out Cash O'Riley. The reviews for the live shows are exuberant, and I really liked one of the comments posted: first time listener, lifetime fan. My recommendation is that you put your money down and let it ride until it comes time for Volume 2.
© Peter Karoly, 2010