Led by singer-songwriter Katie Brennan and guitarist Brendan Curley, New York City’s (by way of Washington) Bourbon Express, also includes bassist Andrew Dykeman, Jonny Lam on pedal steel, drummer Andrew Hodgkins and Sarah Kinsey on harmonies. The band recently released their new album, One Big Losin’ Streak. Written over the course of five years and recorded in both NYC and Tacoma, the album is a gem; toe tapping and twangy, with a sound that is decidedly old school, fully utilizing classic instrumentation and successfully transporting you to a honky tonk where the whiskey and music are free flowing. Not only is One Big Losin’ Streak a throwback sonically, it is lyrically as well, with well written songs filled with humor and heartache.
The songs maybe short, but there is much to love including lots of sharp guitar work, pedal steel, mandolin and Brennan’s unique vocals that fall somewhere between the spunk of Nikki Lane and the sweetness of Ashley Monroe. The ten track compilation starts off with the two step ready “Don’t Turn Me Down” followed by “Upward Track” on which she sings, “But for just one night, I want my old life back, it might be lonely but there’s comfort in that, one last bar light one last wild night before I land on the upward track.”
There’s heartache a plenty including “Last Dance” about the end of a relationship that finds her wearing “my tallest shoes for walking away,” “I’m Not Ready” about having to move on, even though you may not be ready to do so and the cheating, swing number “Slippin’ Around.” Standout “Which Wine Goes With My Heartache” is a tear in your wine ballad in which she sings, “Which wine goes with his memory and which wine can help stab it out and which wine can turn this bitter lady into the sweet woman he forgot all about.”
Good times abound on “Party Girl” and “Let’s Say I Do” about ropin’ the cowboy that she wants to perhaps spend forever with. The album closes on a happy note with “Those Days Are Gone,” a love song about making a brand new start with “a different kind of lover, a cut above the others.”
One Big Losin’ Streak puts Bourbon Express on a winning streak with its terrific combination of sharp lyrics, melody and voice. Give it a listen.