BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
As if providing testament to the state for which they’re partially named, Starlings, TN is a hardcore country outfit that takes their birthright seriously. Never mind the fact that they revisit a pair of seminal songs – Bill Monroe’s “Blue Moon of Kentucky” and the rockabilly classic “Shake Rattle and Roll” – but the way that they tackle their own efforts shows they possess a decided air of authenticity. With half a dozen earlier albums, it’s no surprise they’re so adept at that task, but the truth is, they deliver the material as though it’s part of their DNA. In listening to All the Good Times, it’s easy to forget they weren’t back there in the beginning, plying their gritty approach alongside certain forebears, Hank, Haggard and Cash among them.
As a result, there are several songs – “Oh! Whiskey,” “All the Good Times Are Now,” “Burnt Ends,” to name an obvious few – that convey a rough and tumble sound that negates any hint of subtlety or finesse. There are softer moments, the soothing and graceful “Back to Magnolia” and the loping ramble, “Hey Little Birdie” especially, but ultimately it’s the roiling sound of piss and venom that makes All the Good Times so memorable.
DOWNLOAD: “Back to Magnolia,” “Oh Whiskey,” “Blue Moon of Kentucky”