The lead track “You Can’t Have Me” would be right at home on Queen Of Pain, it’s sultry, bass-y, slinky and rumbles in like a big cat on the prowl. (You can thank John Button, who has toured with The Who and Roger Daltry, for that.) It’s a great start to an album full of fine tracks, heavily influenced by rockabilly, country rock, and 50s/60s sensibilities without sounding the least bit dated.
Odds are you could slip “It’s Only Make Believe” into a set on an oldies station and listeners would be none the wiser, except the production sounds a little too modern. “Purse Whiskey” (tagged with the “E” for fun, er, explicit on Spotify) is a perfect bar band tune that would bring any club to life performed live. You know, back when people went to live shows… “Ballad of the Rearview Mirror” should be a top-10 hit. It’s a perfectly raucous duet with Charlie Overbey, with a strong nod to “Ring of Fire” featuring some fine guitar work and a thundering pace. Folks might also enjoy Overbey’s latest single, “Ode to John Prine” which is pretty much what it says on the tin.
Lover & a Fighter closes out with a faithful and powerful cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man.” Mike Turner’s guitar on this one would make any Skynyrd fan happy, and Gabe Witcher’s violin adds just the right amount of sweetness to the tune.
I’ve given the album a couple of spins now via Spotify, and I expect it’ll be in regular rotation for years to come. Lover & a Fighter doesn’t break a lot of new ground, musically. Duffy picks up right where she left off and delivers a solid 13 tracks that hit that sweet, sweet spot of modern rockabilly.
Devil Doll is back!
The album is aptly named, as Duffy has been through the wringer for quite some time but seems to have made it through to the other side. Lover & a Fighter comes after a many year hiatus due to medical issues (you can read Duffy’s story on her site), and caught me by surprise. (I’d have happily backed the recording of the album if I’d known about crowdfunding for it!) But it’s a pleasant surprise having some new Devil Doll tunes after so many years. You can find the album on Spotify or other streaming services, or buy the release through her store.