Truckstop Honeymoon @ McGregor Hall, 10 March
Truckstop Honeymoon, an American husband (banjo/acoustic guitar) wife (double bass) duo, could be dismissed as a band best left to the true believers – and by that I mean loyal adherents to hillbilly music – if not for two things. The first is that they reek of authenticity. Somehow genre music is so much more digestible to the average punter when it feels like the style is natural rather than an affectation. Truckstop Honeymoon not only look the part but have the back story to match: even the band’s name is drawn from life. Secondly, they inject a decent dose of gentle humour both within and between songs. Songs such as Nobody Asks Me (if I’m Married no More) and (White Collar Worker With) Blue Collar Blues – the latter particularly poignant in this city – are just a couple examples of the understated humour that peppers their show.
The merits of McGregor Hall have been sung elsewhere on this website and so I will only second those sentiments here and add that a more suitable location for this gig could not be found this side of Lafayette. The audience too was extremely healthy, both in terms of quantity – nearly 200 on a Wednesday night – and diversity, and all in a demonstrably good mood.
So much for audience, venue, authenticity and humour – what then of the music? Truckstop Honeymoon are good players and engaging performers. Their music may however struggle to sustain its hold on the attention of those not particularly passionate about the style in which it is delivered without the aforementioned stars aligning. Whilst there were some definite highlights, including Parliament’s My Automobile (“hillbilly music with clever production”), the show, despite its many charms, offered little to get truly excited about in a musical sense. A Truckstop Honeymoon gig is a truly enjoyable one but , although it may provide an enjoyable diversion for its duration, it is unlikely to produce a more enduring impression on many.