Hailing from Texas, Charlie and The Regrets released their new album Rivers in the Streets on February 25th. The story songs in the all original nine-track collection put forth a realistic portrait of life in the place they call home, Houston. Kicking things off is the irresistible “Proud Man,” which injects humor (a la Shinyribs) into a rousing tune that takes on relationships and how they change a man, “I will fry you a potato/I will bring homes slabs of meat/I will get you fancy lotion I will rub it on your feet…and if we ever disagree, you will be right/I will be wrong.” That’s followed by the dance floor ready “The Gavel,” which through its swinging melody tackles the tale of a middle class guy in prison for weed possession “Now the state has got my body and the county just sold my truck” while the blunt “Baytown” (which recalls the Georgia Satellites) with its gritty guitar riffs, addresses that part of town you can go to maybe get a little crazy - and puts forth some serious truth, “Sometimes to stay sane, you gotta lose your mind.”
Front man Charlie Harrison (who co-wrote all the tracks) has a knack for balancing somber topics with welcome doses of humor such as in the jaunty “Last Time I Was Here” which tells the tale of a man getting out of prison after 25 years - “For the life of me I don’t know why I drove the car that day but you know Bill did all the shooting and the clerk lived anyway” - apologizing in his own way and asking the one he loved years ago to take him back; and the frenzied “What Can I Do” (really listen to those lyrics!) which relates how a down and out guy tries to get over his blues by running all over town.
And while Rivers in the Streets is a lot of fun, he and his stellar band display a different, more serious side on the record with tunes such as the gentle, guitar-centered “Houston Rain,” the moody, heartbroken waltz, “New Night,” and “No Good News” which closes things out on an incredibly somber note. “Ain’t no good news in this town/Hope lies buried in the ground.”
Rivers in the Streets is gritty, tender, humorous, sad, and sometimes irreverent…. but there's a sincerity that flows through each song. It's a well-balanced, solid listen, that will undoubtedly find it's way to music lovers ears well beyond their beloved Houston.