Steve Warner and The Rolling Coyotes – Train of Life
I like to quickly skim through albums whenever possible. But I found it very difficult to do that with Steve Warner and The Rolling Coyotes’ Train of Life. Right from the onset, the sound is incredibly interesting and refreshing. It forced me to listen a bit more carefully.
It’s a combination of folk, blues, and rock–classic Americana music. There’s a Bob Dylan-ish quality to the style with just a pinch more of country. There are times I felt I was listening to Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and other times Randy Newman (“You’ve Got a Friend in Me”). Instruments ranging from piano, guitars, accordion, and harmonica–to name a few–provide the musical landscape for Steve Warner’s story-teller style of singing.
Picking two random tracks: “The War Has Just Begun” is a sobering reflection on a soldier’s life after he gets home. The tail end of the chorus says, “The beat inside his head never seems to stop. He may be home but the war has just begun.” “Better Off With You (Than Alone)” is a charming duet with Nancy Lynn that can’t help but put a smile on your face as you listen.
Most of the lyrics are immediately accessible–possessing an “every man” quality to them. Take for example, the bonus track “In the Dog House Now”. Warner sings, “Well I drove all day in the sweltering heat and the A/C didn’t work. Wondering who was right or wrong, or was I just a jerk [A Jerk!—the men in the background echo].”
If not already familiar with the band, this is one of those albums that are actually better than you’d expect. The musicianship, the song writing, the performance, the overall mood are all a delight. And so many nice surprises along the way to keep it fresh. As far as I’m concerned, Steve Warner and The Rolling Coyotes were able to capture and record an accurate portrait of the human experience in America with Train of Life.