Record Of The Week # 114

Tylor & The Train Robbers – Non-Typical Find

Tylor Ketchum heads up a band of principally his two brothers and his father-in-law. On their third release they’re joined by another famous brother, Cody Braun of Reckless Kelly who takes up production duties. The sound is similar to their 2019 release The Best Of The Worst Kind. However, here Braun brings more commercial sensibility and some celtic flourishes as he adds fiddle and mandolin.

Ketchum is a terrific wordsmith; on the opener “Equation of Life”, he offers a philosophic take – “There’s bigger places and better things to come / Instead of trading time I think you might try spending some / Because change equals money and money always makes sense /  When you spend time well you get back time well spent.” When you hitch this to the acoustic based americana country sound, with pedal steel in the background, you’ve got a wonderful 50 minutes ahead of you. Ketchum’s voice is commanding and the mix rightly puts it to the fore throughout.

The band is tighter than the lid on a recalcitrant jar of jalapeños: they weave around each other and deliver effortless solos; and predictably the brothers harmonise better than most on the choruses. “Staring Down The North” has an outlaw vibe where the band quickly hit the afterburners. Ketchum picks his acoustic guitar and extols the virtues of adopting a positive attitude. A prowling electric guitar trades punches with a Hammond B3; I can imagine that this must be sublime played live. “Jenny Lynn” is an album highlight and refers to Ketchum’s wife. It’s a paean to his enduring love as he misses her whilst he’s away. Acoustic guitars play the melody with pedal steel and sentimental Irish fiddle adding to this touching lament. 

The title track, “Non-Typical Find”, is a story about the untimely demise of two unfortunates after a car crash on the highway. The driver appears to have been distracted and spaced out and his unlucky female passenger picked the wrong car to flag down whilst hitch hiking. This six minute epic brought to mind the type of engaging story he told on his last album with “The Ballad Of Black Jack Ketchum”, again another misadventure (that ends in a hanging!) “Lemonade” is another lyric that has you concentrating on every word. A beautiful melody enhanced by a picked banjo and insistent snare driven rhythm. 

The air should be black with hats as we celebrate this wonderful album. Mine is airborne.

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