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31 Days of Music: Best of 2013 - Day 23 - Have Gun, Will Travel

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Number 9 – Have Gun, Will TravelFact, Fiction or Folklore

Two days before Christmas and we are at Number 9 on the 31 Days of Music: Best of 2013 with Florida’s Have Gun, Will Travel and their release Fact, Fiction or Folklore.

Bradenton, FL’s Have Gun Will Travel (HGWT) dishes out roots/American music with a Dylanesque folk feel and punk sensibilities. Their songs utilize catchy melodies, vocal harmonies and dark lyrics referring to such subject matter as life & death, morals and choices people make. Their latest record Fact, Fiction or Folklore contains some of their best music to date as they take the listener through their world of trouble, murder and the end of the world.

HGWT kick off the album with an upbeat sing-a-long tune about the end of the world. Loaded with copious amounts of banjo, harmonica and clapping “Standing at the End of the World” isn’t about changing the world, just that the end is here so sit back and watch the show. There is an old adage ‘trouble is where you find it’ but in the track “Trouble” HGWT says it comes from every side so keep your guard up or be engulfed by it. “Take Me Home, Alice” is an example at how well their lyrics are as they paint a picture of a guy who has crawled into a bottle instead of facing his life and loneliness. Sounding like it was pilfered from a Tom Petty songbook (that is a good thing) “High Road” takes on personal morals. As the protagonist of the song gets older he realizes he needs to change his life and make the right decisions over the easy decisions. The best song on the record is “The Show Must Go On”, a tale of murder and deception. HGWT takes listeners through a series of us and downs that doesn’t end well. The guitar solo to close the song is pretty damn good.

Fact, Fiction or Folktale is one of those records that you can listen to time and time again and it never gets old. While the songs touch on topics that aren’t all unicorns and rainbows they pull it off without creating an album that is morose or depressing. There are so many musical layers something new teases your ears on each listen, the killer banjo, the underlying lap steel, vocal harmonies, blistering guitar work or the train beat drumming. It always amazes me when bands like HGWT that work hard writing their own tunes, playing their own music toil in relative obscurity while over produced computer manipulated music is force fed down everyone’s throat. Listen to this record and try not to like it, I dare you.

31 Days of Music: Best of 2013

31 - Futurebirds - Baba Yaga
30 - Mike Snowden - One Man Cigar Box Guitar Band Live
29 - Teen Getaway - Hits and Missives
28 - Barrence Whitfield & the Savages - Dig Thy Savage Soul
27 - Robert Pollard - Honey Locust Honky Tonk
26 - Camper Van Beethoven - La Costa Perdida
25 - Je Suis France - Coleslaw III Drymouth
24 - Dorado - Anger, Hunger, Love and the Fear of Death
23 - Ezra Furman - Day of the Dog
22 - Hymn For Her - Lucy & Wayne's Smokin' Hot Flames
21 - Patrick Sweany - Close To The Floor
20 - Tedo Stone - Good Go Bad
19 - Chandler Travis Three-O - This Is What Bears Look Like Under Water
18 - Devon Allman - Turquoise
17 - Kick The Robot - Music To Fight The Future
16 - Sebadoh - Defend Yourself
15 - Escondido - The Ghost of Escondido
14 - Doc Feldman & the LD50 - Sundowning at the Station
13 - Porter & the Pollies - Self Titled EP
12 - Drivin' n' Cryin' - Songs From The Psychedelic Time Clock
11 - Deathfix - Self-Titled
10 - Chris Stamey - Lovesick Blues
09 - Have Gun, Will Travel - Fact, Fiction or Folklore


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