Chip Hanna And The Berlin Three - Old South Jamboree

14 songs
37:29 minutes
***** **
People Like You


Chip Hanna is probably best known as the drummer for US punk bands like US Bombs and One Man Army. Together with The Berlin Three, three members of German psychobilly kings Mad Sin, he performs classical country music as it is popular in his hometown Baton Rouge down in Louisiana. The album title is a homage to Chip Hanna’s mother who used to perform in a radio show with the same name.

It was obvious from the start that Chip Hanna And The Berlin Three is more than a mere fun project. Although their debut was recorded in approximately twenty-four hours, there were even some live shows. You only wonder how they managed to get their second album ready so soon, considering that the debut was released in Spring 2007.

One explanation may be that the songs are all pretty much alike and therefore interchangeable. Most of them are short, rarely longer than three minutes, and they show the different faces of country music. The excellent opener Beetle Boot is a combination of country and rockabilly and would be ideal on a soundtrack for a Tarantino movie. There are some more fast tracks, most noticeable are the honky tonk sounding Beer Drinkin’ Women and The Chosen One which reminds me slightly of Jethro Tull. Next to seven quicker songs are also seven quieter tracks, which mostly succeed also rather well. Highlights are the blasphemous Jesus Ain’t Gone, Interstate 10 with its hit potential and the four minute long Party Line where Chip Hanna is supported by a female guest vocalist.

All in all, Old South Jamboree is once again a good enough album that might even appeal to people who are normally not that much into country music. The only problem is that the short span between their two albums makes them sound too much alike. I hope that they don’t decide to release their next album already in autumn this year, because I expect more surprises on a possible third album.

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