Even though Doc seems to think the only reason to travel through Ohio is some girl, I like Doc Dailey & Magnolia Devil. I like them a lot.
Hailing from the Muscle Shoals area of Alabama – home to Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, FAME Recording Studios, W.C. Handy and more than one member of Drive-By Truckers – Doc and his crew play with a complement of instrumentation that ranges from the traditional Americana staples of mandolin and banjo to pedal steel and organ right on up to horns and classical strings (If you don’t think banjo and classical strings make good companions, the title track from Victims, Enemies & Old Friends will prove you wrong).
Just as diverse is the range of song styles they pass through, from big-drum rockers (“She’s Gonna Love Me”, “The Only Reason That I Know”) to heartbroken-yet-hopeful ballads (“Pray for You”) to country music’s bread and butter, story songs (“Let Me Down”, “‘Til Death Do Us Part”). And, no mistake, this is music that lands heavily on the country side – Doc’s accent is the definition of “twang” – but it is a world away from those Nashvegas products that pop up in many people’s minds when they think of country music. This is music from people who appreciate, say, the Replacements as much as they do Hank Williams, Sr.
With its clean and warm production, Victims, Enemies & Old Friends is a very pleasant surprise from beginning to end, and you’ll probably have more than one favorite song from this album from the first listen.