The Bellamy Brothers

Lonely Planet
Blue Hat Records

Howard and David grew up listening to the music of Merle Haggard and Buck Owens, as their father was a big fan, while also being surrounded by the rhythms of the Jamaican fruit harvesters, working in the family's orange groves in West Central Florida.
Other influences such as Elvis, Buddy Holly, Rick Nelson and the Everly Brothers, also contributed to what was later to become their own unique style.

Averaging more than 250 worldwide tour dates per year, The Bellamy Brothers are one of the most active touring bands in the business. After more than 25 years at the top of their profession, if anyone doesn't know who they are, then they must have been on another planet. (Sorry)

Trying to save a love that is sinking fast is the theme for the albums opener, the lively, "Houston (we have a problem)." This is a great rocking track to open the album with. "Highway Of Regret" bounces along at a nice steady pace, and has you dreaming of driving along the wide open road with the top down. The song has a very catchy beat, with some fine fiddle and harmonica breaks, that I just can't get out of my head. "Come Back Gene And Roy" is a reflection on how things used to be, compared to what's happening in the world we live in today. Just listen to the lines - I turned on the news/Then I wondered what for/Another kid's brought a gun to school/A politician lied some more. The Bellamy's at their best. Brilliant!!

Recently released on the media only, Country Hotdisc, "Vertical Expression" is recorded twice on the album, with Freddy Fender joining forces with the brothers for a bonus track version of the song. (this is the one released on the Hotdisc.) The song is a mid paced rumba that should certainly please the linedancers, with whom the Bellamy's are very popular. Other songs with a rumba flavour, are the title track, "Lonely Planet," also recently released on the Country Hotdisc, and a re-working of "Fountain Of Middle Age."

Howard isn't to be left out of the writing credits as he contributes his only composition on this album, the Dixie-Jazz flavoured, "Kookaburra Blues," a great song referring to their love of Australia, that has you asking why he doesn't write more than he does.

Buck Owens joins the boy's for a terrific fun song, "(Don't Put Me In) The Ex Files." A great play on words, the song has them trying to explain why they didn't get home till 4am in the morning. I love the spoken line at the end from Buck, "Honey, you can ask Howard and David, you know they wouldn't lie to you". Great!!

Other tracks on here are, "Old Country/New Country" a catchy two stepper reflecting on the many different styles in today's country music. "Shero" a story song telling of a mother taking over the role of a father after he passed on, and "Forever Ain't Long Enough," a love ditty to close the album before the Bonus version of "Vertical Expression."

This is a terrific album of Country Music from The Bellamy Brothers, and one that no country music collection should be without. There isn't one bad track on here. So what are you waiting for, get down to your local music shop and get hold of a copy. You'll be glad you did!

Highly Recommended!!!