250 Word Album Review: The Hickman-Dalton Gang – Volume II

The Hickman-Dalton Gang Volume 2

The Hickman-Dalton Gang Volume II gets 4 stars

The Hickman-Dalton Gang is an outlaw country duo of Johnny Hickman(Cracker, awesome guy, guitar hero) and Jim Dalton(Railbenders, Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers). They return in 2011 with their second release after the EP Volume I in 2008. Volume II is basically only available online.

Dalton and Hickman split the 10 songs right down the middle at 5 each. Johnny Hickman kicks the album off with “Wildcard” a mindless rocker to set the tone of this album being more electric than the band’s last release.

Hickman also puts on record for the first time his telling of Mr. Wrong. Cracker released this song back in 1992 on their self-titled debut but it was sang by David Lowery even though Johnny Hickman wrote it. Hickman remains true to the Cracker version except adding a few lyrics. The new lyrics fit in perfectly with the lowlife Mr. Wrong revealing that on top of everything else, he is married. Mr. Wrong indeed.

Hickman’s best work comes late in the album with “(Come On Back To) Stockton” and the swinging “No Easy Way To Say Goodbye.” Jim Dalton doesn’t phone this one in either, “Let’s Toke The Whole Day Off” is a great tounge in cheek style song and “You Got A Problem” is a drunken sing-along waiting to happen.

The album finds the duo not trying to get on CMT but just having fun. The album sounds as if the guys just want to sing some songs in a smokey bar and it is a great listen because of it.

Key Tracks: “You’ve Got A Problem” “(Come On Back To) Stockton” “Mr. Wrong”

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