Over the past few years, I have found the first two albums by Country Dick Montana’s best known band, the Beat Farmers, Tales of the New West and Van Go; under his real name Dan McLain, he was the drummer for the Crawdaddys. The Beat Farmers are known as one of the best country-punk bands, and it is easy to see why. Then I noticed on Amazon.com an even better album by another Country Dick Montana band, the Pleasure Barons, called Live in Las Vegas.
The Pleasure Barons could be described I guess as a super-group, composed of Country Dick Montana, Dave Alvin of the Blasters, and psychobilly legend Mojo Nixon. Besides three Mojo Nixon classics – somewhat toned down from the original recordings and illustrating how well crafted Nixon’s music actually is – the other songs are mostly over-the-top covers of a wide variety of numbers, ranging from Mickey Gilley’s “Closing Time”, to R. B. Greaves’s “Take a Letter, Maria”, to Bo Diddley’s “Who Do You Love?”, to Joe South’s “Games People Play”, to Jerry Reed’s “Amos Moses”, and finally to “The Definitive Tom Jones Medley”: “It’s Not Unusual”, “Delilah” and “What’s New Pussycat?”. That album is more fun than any record that I have bought in a long, long time.
(Year 10 Review)