John Doe and the Sadies 

Country Club

Yep Roc Records

Punk rock and country music have been odd cousins for a couple decades. Alt-country songwriter Ryan Adams cut his teeth screaming punk music, while high octane rockers Supersuckers and Social Distortion's Mike Ness have released country records. John Doe, veteran of Los Angeles punk legends X, first dabbled with country in The Knitters. Subsequent solo albums have continued the flirtation. This year's collaboration with The Sadies, a band recognizable to most as Neko Case's former backing band—but who have also released a handful of outstanding roots rock albums under their own logo—sees Doe jumping into the country pool fully clothed.

Country Club is an analog cruise through '60s-era country, visiting Nashville and Bakersfield sounds alike. The set includes 11 covers and four originals that flow together seamlessly. Traditionalists may grouse over the interpretations of some of these songs, but the band more than pays homage to songwriters with names like Miller, Haggard, Kristofferson and Cash—they own them. A favorite is Bill Anderson's "The Cold Hard Facts of Life," a tune originally made famous by Porter Wagoner. Doe's road-weary voice works over the material, and the playing of The Sadies is, as always, flawless. Fans of stripped-down, old-school country will love this record.

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