Some say country-rock died with Gram Parsons premature passing in 1973, casual fans say it’s when the Eagles sold-out and recorded Hotel California, but almost everyone can agree that just as quickly as it came – it was gone. That being said, wherever country-rock went thirty-plus years ago, it’s back with Eldorado’s latest release Suitcase.
The album is a mish-mash of pure Canadiana heartland rock and that instantly recognizable All-American Nashville twang. In fact, at first I did not believe that this band was from Vancouver! Suitcase’s strongest track, “Don’t Know What Hit Me” feels like a Carl Perkins song switched into high gear. The beautifully harmonized chorus evokes memories of June Carter or perhaps even the Flying Burrito Brothers – although without the masculine undertones. The jumpy trap drums and the wonderful lap steel licks really give the feel of an old country road trip, with the radio crackling out the latest Hank Williams or Hank Snow tune. There is not one weak track on this album, although after awhile the songs blend together into one long suite. If that’s what Eldorado set out to do, great, but if that’s the complete opposite of their intentions, then they’re in trouble.
Eldorado is really onto something with Suitcase. Should country-rock make a comeback in the coming years is unpredictable, however Suitcase could be the Sweetheart of the Rodeo we’ve all been looking for. The wonderfully cinematic qualities, the perky tempos, and the soothing harmonies are enough to entice a listener on the first track – let alone the rest of the record. Eldorado’s Suitcase is the kind of record that should be saved for a life-changing summer road trip, or at best played amongst friends who remember “the good ol’ days”.
Posted: Oct 27, 2008