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Review: Arty Hill, Another Lost Highway

Arty Hill
Another Lost Highway
[Self-released (2011)]

Ever since Hank Williams warbled about that forlorn lost highway towards the end of short, tragic career, it’s become a symbol of country lore. Baltimore’s Arty Hill finds his way on a similar lost highway, but not necessarily the one Williams traveled. Instead, Hill’s is comically littered with 12-pack mornings, ICU’s, halfway houses, and cheatin’ neighbors, all the wicked stuff that makes country music great. In its own way, Hill’s catchy all-original affair stands on its own merit, even though it could use a little more edge in a few places.

Hill’s best song on Another Lost Highway is “Kind of That Thing,” a homage to all those hard workin,’ slip sliding steel guitarists who really know how to get a bang out of twang. He mixes it up with a little western swing, honky tonk, pedal-to-the-metal rockabilly and rumbling rumba (“Breaking-Up Party”) not staying in any particular idiom for too long. Still, his greatest asset is fronting a dance band that makes it impossible to drop the beat, despite how many six-pack mornings you’ve had lately.

—Dan Willging (Denver, CO)

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