Derek Thomas & Skyline Drive – Beyond The Trestles

Derek Thomas & Skyline Drive – Beyond The Trestles
Soul Water Records
Sometimes when you hear a CD, you can imagine the cold calculated digital studio where the music was created. Not sure if that is where the debut by Derek Thomas & Skyline Drive was recorded or not, but it doesn’t feel like it. It feels like old beat up guitars, dusty amps, analog tape recorders, tattered couches, and braided rugs. It just has that plug-and-play feel; subtly rough with echoing and grit, brimming with heart-felt life! Think of some of Crazy Horse’s early works with more melodic vocal work ala Townes Van Zandt and you get a good idea, particularly in sparkling tracks like “Honey Whiskey” or “Midnight Lady.” There are many mellow tunes here from the painful croons of “Roll On” or “God Isn’t Watching” to the soaring, bare-bones blues of “Broken Angel.” showcasing the incredible emotive depth of Derek’s vocal works. Derek, who was more known for his psychedelic punk act 60 Watt Kidd, also displays a knack for writing songs with poignant, sometimes heart-wrenching lyrics, and fueling them with music that is non-pretentious but thoughtful enough to really grab you as well. This is flat out some really good music – pure, simple…really good music. Sometimes that is enough and it is more than enough here. – MW



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