Ridley Bent – Wildcard


The third full length from Winnipeg’s Ridley Bent delivers 12 tracks of the kind of country fans of Ridley’s have come to expect. Starting off with the brooder “Fill Yer Boots,” Wildcard features the white hot guitar picking of Chris Dunn throughout, along with pedal steel gold courtesy of John Ellis and, in some spots, Ken Campbell. The record picks up with second track, “The Most Beautiful Woman Around,” which is sure to get dancefloors full in honky tonks from Winnipeg to 100 Mile House, Edmonton to Austin. The rest of the ten tracks alternate between slow dance ready numbers (“Good Ol’ Cowboy Angel Band”) and two-steppers (“Brooklyn, Texas” ). Bent’s lyrics often take centre stage, as the singer crafts stories of hard luck gamblers and broken hearts. A cover of Tom Petty’s “You Got Lucky” not only fits right into the gambler’s theme of the album, but makes it hard not hear the original as a country tune. The final three tracks are devoted to “The Blood Trilogy” of tunes, where an even darker side of the country cannon is explored in “Crooked & Loaded,” “Blood on the Stage,” and “Who’s the Devil Now.” While Wildcard doesn’t necessarily have the barn burning singles (“Buckles & Boots,” “Nine Inch Nails,” and “I Can’t Turn My Back on the Bottle”) that his previous two records had, the overall result is stronger, and more consistent. A great record to spend an evening playing cards and drinking to. (Americana North, ridleybent.com) Sheldon Birnie


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *