march 2009

Randy Weeks
Certifiable Records

Following up his heralded 2006 release, Sugarfinger, Randy Weeks rolls out another stimulating exercise in fine songcraft and inspired playing on Going My Way. To call it '60s-style garage band country-rock is a compliment. Though well played, the music has a shambling, Band-like quality, mostly owing to the consistently busy drums sounding slightly off mic and the mix having a bit of a sludgy, extemporaneous feel. Over this soundscape, Weeks's Reedy (as in Lou Reed), unaccented voice, deceptively unpolished but always eager, earnest and, when appropriate, sardonic, is exactly right for the setting. The organ seething in the background here and there adds a soul flavor and heft to the arrangements—it's especially effective in enhancing the doom-laden atmosphere infusing the surge and retreat mode of the five-and-a-half-minute plea, "Get Me To The Shelter," a chronicle of epic heartbreak that leaves Weeks crying as much for spiritual salvation as for a healing place. "I Could Make It" kicks off the album with punch and drive, with Tony Gilkyson's slide guitar wailing behind Weeks's charged vocal asserting the life affirming force of his gal's support. On the other hand, the punishing kick of "Fine Way To Treat Me" underscores the spite Weeks feels for a gal who can't take as good as she gives when it comes to duplicity. If it didn't have such a strong country flavor, the festive pop elements of the cheery love song, "That's What I'd Do," would cause one to mistake it for a classic '60s Top 40 single, maybe something out of Gary Lewis & the Playboys' songbook (not a bad songbook, that), and maybe Weeks and producer Will Sexton realize this, because Weeks sounds like Lewis at times as he skips through his bright-eyed encomium to love (with some cool background vocal help from Eliza Gilkyson). The basic band of Weeks and Tony Gilkyson on guitars, Rick Richards on drums, Sexton on bass and Mike Thompson on piano and organ (he even adds trombone to the sinister sound of "Get Me To The Shelter") is tight and economical, no wasted motion here, and impressively tuned in to the emotional component of Weeks's music, so much so that you can't imagine these songs being better realized than they are here. Going My Way? Way to go. —David McGee

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Founder/Publisher/Editor: David McGee
Contributing Editors: Billy Altman, Derk Richardson
Logo Design: John Mendelsohn (
Website Design: Kieran McGee (
Staff Photographers: Audrey Harrod (Louisville, KY;, Alicia Zappier (New York)
Mailing Address: David McGee, 201 W. 85 St.—5B, New York, NY 10024