Review Summary: Fate has found his fate with one of the better Americana albums for a while.
When the first notes of “Preacher-woman Blues”, the opening track on “Diesel Palomino”, the new (second) album by Kentucky singer/songwriter Fate McAfee starts rolling, you might get the feeling that you have put on the soundtrack to Cohen brothers brilliant movie “Inside Llewlyn Davies”.
Looking at the cover, that ‘deception’ might still be on, but somewhere near the end of second track here, “Orchids In The Rain”, with its countrified close, McAfee slowly starts bringing on other musical elements that slowly bring you to more current times, but also showing his sources of inspiration.
“Late Summer Blues” is all modernized Dylan circa “Blonde On Blonde”, while the title track is as if Steve Earle is being backed by an agile version of Lambchop. The trend of bringing in diverse elements continues through this relatively brief album, all immersed in Fate’s assured songwriting and excellent voice.
Still, no matter how derivative this description might sound, McAfee definitely gives the seven-track here a personal touch, best shown on “Stars of Tucumcari”, which also boasts some of the best lyrics on the album:
“Feeling just like a bench in the park, broken down & hastily carved
With initials from first true love, and less deliberate scars
Stories from the summer when you began to find your own
The name of one forgiven in the name of moving on
But I have yet to find another offer better living proof”.
No matter how brief this album might feel in these times of endless streaming possibilities, it packs a musical punch good enough to make you put it on repeat. It deserves it.
After all, that is what you often have to do with vinyl records, and vinyl is on the comeback, isn’t it?