The Barlow’s Horseshoe Lounge

By Brian Rock

Colorado renegades, The Barlow, raise the bar for Country music in 2021 with their sophomore album, Horseshoe Lounge. Combining elements of outlaw country, honky-tonk, red dirt country and southern rock; they create a unique, high energy sound that’s made for stomping boots and raising roofs.

Coming out of the gates hard on “Hard Lovin’,” The Barlow lay down blistering electric guitar licks over a rock steady beat buoyed by Hammond organ strains. Singing, “drinks and drugs are hard lovin’ induced,” they manage to find the silver lining in failed relationships: getting back to partying with friends.

“Horseshoe Lounge” follows up with a healthy dose of steel guitar driven outlaw country, as they sing the praises of burning the candle at both ends. Keeping the pedal steel, but slowing down the pace a bit, “Fixin’ to Run” is an intimate confession of fear of commitment. 

Lead singer Shea Boynton’s raspy, whiskey-worn whispery vocals are perfectly suited to singing these tales of rambling. Part Greg Allman and part Ray Wylie Hubbard, Boynton’s voice has an authenticity to it that conveys emotion and depth.

“Ain’t Ever Comin’ Round,” adds honky-tonk fiddle strains to help tell the story of a teenage girl seeking the dad she never knew. In the end she finds out that, “Some folks are better as a ghost.” Although her dreams of finding a loving, long lost father are shattered by the reality of a self-centered scoundrel, she ends up finding her own inner strength through the quest and realizes she can make her own way in the world. The band keeps the mood and tempo light and lively even through the dark lyrical twists.

The Barlow keep rocking on The Outlaws inspired, “Before You Know,” the banjo backed bluegrass of “Longest Days,” the swampy blues rock of “Homesick Gypsy,” and the fiddle fueled outlaw country of “Call It A Win.” 

Adding depth and texture, the band adds weepy pedal steel to the red dirt ballad, “Gallows,” and finishes with the piedmont blues of “Part of the Band.”

Showcasing an array of country related styles, The Barlow deliver a ringer of an album on Horseshoe Lounge.  |  fb  |  buy

Brian Rock

Brian Rock

Brian was raised gypsy style, moving every other year until well after college. As friendships proved to be temporary, Brian found a constant companion in music, wearing the grooves off Beatles and Dylan albums before moving on to Lyle Lovett and Dwight Yokam. Living so often in flux, he has come to value music and lyrics of lasting quality. Not moved by trends or fashion, he is drawn to timeless lyrics and soulful rhythms. Although now settled down, Brian still expresses his gypsy spirit through his writing. He has co-written songs with musician friends he’s met along the way, including several contributions to the 2012 ICMA Album of the Year, Family Album. Brian also writes children’s books and poems, including the Children’s Book Council featured title, The Deductive Detective.
Brian Rock

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