Sweet Bernardine

Tres Pescadores

sheaRick Shea ranks alongside Dave Alvin and the late Chris Gaffney in the Southern California roots-rock movement, which morphed out of the Los Angeles country-rock movement in the 1980s by taking on a Southwestern folk edge. Over the years, in fact, the three have played on each other’s albums and toured together intermittently as Dave Alvin and the Guilty Men.

Tres Pescadores is a small Anaheim-based label formed to reissue Gaffney’s 1986 debut, “The Road to Indio” — which itself morphed into 1999’s “Live and Then Some” when the principals found themselves unable to add just a few bonus live tracks. The label  evolved into a multiartist affair with releases by $1000 Wedding, Shea, Brantley Kearns, Patty Booker and the Missiles of October.

Shea’s sixth solo shot is mostly a mix of acoustic Southwestern folk, with a few ballads and country covers. But the best songs are those on which he breaks out the Telecaster: “Shake It Little Sugaree,” a twangy, midtempo tale of desire; Hank Williams’ “Honky Tonk Blues,” whose slowed-down jazz shuffle is belied by Shea’s affected drawl; and the autobiographical title cut, a country-rock paean to San Bernardino, the old railroad town the singer/songwriter grew up in.

Worthy of special mention: “Time to Say Goodbye,” a melancholy number in which Shea shows off his pedal steel skills.gnm_end_bug

1. Mexicali Train
2. Mariachi Hotel
3. Gregory Ray DeFord
4. Shake It Little Sugaree
5. My Darling Lives In Darlington
6. John Shea From Kenmare
7. Honky Tonk Blues
8. Sweet Bernardine
9. Time To Say Goodbye
10. Streamline Cannonball

Total time: 43:42

External links
artist’s website
iTunes Store