Record Review - 1 December 02 2000
Clunk, clunk, clunk! That's the sound of the thumping cowbell heralding the leadoff track of Trent Summar's debut disc. This effectively places him in the company of other legendary clanky can-infused groups; say Black Oak Arkansas or Grand Funk. It's only a cheap piece of hollowed out metal that proclaims these unpretentious guys have come to your town to party down — because they're, you know, an American band — but it speaks volumes about their roots.
Eleven tracks and just 33 minutes later, they fulfill every minor expectation. If it's Southern-fried country-rocking of the Georgia Satellites/Jason & the Scorchers variety you're hungering for, you've come to the right greasy kitchen, Bubba. With a band of pros featuring ex-members of such take-no-shit outfits as Walk the West and the Mavericks, former Hank Flamingo frontman Summar strums, twangs and rocks the house like he was raised under the Star Bar glitterball with a PBR instead of a nipple glued to his lips. Heck, he even name checks Hotlanta in "Metal Stone Glass and Wood," a good-ol'-boy Chuck Berry rocker worthy of the Faces-meets-Bottlerockets groove these country boys dig deep and wide.
With a voice skirting a Jagger/George Jones hybrid, Summar's offhand charm and nonchalant drawl churns at the heart and soul of this gritty music. He's a Tennessee boy raised on chicken-fried steak and grits, making his respectful cover of Albert Hammond's smarmy anti-L.A. rant "It Never Rains in Southern California" a perfect choice to display his anti-Eagles roots. It ain't glitzy, but this lowdown cowboy-rock throbs to the beat of the mighty cowbell.
Trent Summar & the New Row Mob plays Smith's Olde Bar, Thurs., Nov.30.