The King is Gone
Honkytonkin' outlaw country outfit Big Tobacco and The Pickers have earned a loyal following via their 2010 self-titled debut, a long-time residency at Toronto roots music hub The Cameron and gigs around Ontario. That audience will hopefully spread further with the release of their excellent second album The King Is Gone. Their retro yet fresh sound is cleanly captured by the production work of the legendary Moe Berg (The Pursuit Of Happiness), who told us at a CMW party he loved working on the project. Ten strong original tunes are joined by a cover song dedicated to George Jones (a key inspiration, alongside Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson). Notable guests include Angie Hilts and Burke Carroll. The band describe their mandate as "making music that takes old school country music in new and original ways", and that is fully realized here.
They launched the album at the Cadillac Lounge in T.O. this week and are part of the great opening night bill for The Hayloft Dancehall in Prince Edward County, May 15. For other summer gigs, check their site.