It may come as a surprise to hear the foot-stomping strains of Appalachian bluegrass channeled through a rock band here in Los Angeles, but heartache, loss and regret have always been the cornerstones of great music and this city has its share. In a town better known for porn stars and face lifts, anything as authentic and heartfelt as Rose’s Pawn Shop, is a pleasant surprise. With wisdom beyond their years, Rose’s Pawn Shop confronts traditional country music themes of loss, lamentation, and redemption, while throwing in some drinking-songs for good measure. Sure, they’re borrowing pages from the books of Hank Williams, Bill Monroe, and Johnny Cash, but Rose’s Pawn Shop takes those pages, tears them up and sets them on fire with breakneck speed, bluegrass instrumentation, 3- and 4- part vocal harmonies and lyrics that’ll break your heart. Whether it’s the dreamy snake-charm-thump of “Lone Rider,” the wistful whisky-soaked wisdom of “Down The Line,” the honky-tonk ruckus of “Funeral Pyre,” or the Gypsy-infused mandolin twang of “Reckoning,” Rose’s Pawn Shop will hook you. Like catfish from the creek, they’ll reel you in. And they won’t let you go.
And you’ll be glad they did.
Because something happens when you hear these songs. No matter how low you’ve sunk, something in the music finds you. It picks you up and carries you home.
FCC Warning on Track 9.
Recommended Tracks: 1, 2, 5, 7, 11.