I moved to North Carolina in the early 80’s. I was a music loving wide-eyed 21-year-old, who to that point had barely left the state of Florida. Just to clarify, at that time Florida was NOT a music mecca (and kinda guessing it still isn’t). It was really hard to see live music, outside of the occasional punk rock show (highlighted by a super great Husker Du/Circle Jerks show at some god-forsaken dive in Ybor City; this was, like, 1980?). Anyhoo, I was moving to Raleigh-Durham, headquarters to Record Bar, a really, really great music chain at the time, with stores primarily located in the south and mid-atlantic. And right down the road apiece, a live music space called The Cat’s Cradle. Oh man.

I have countless fond memories of the Cradle, and saw everybody who was anybody (and nobody). And I saw a whole bunch of Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ shows there. And they were consistently outstanding. Just one of those bands, like Soul Asylum or Redd Kross, that you wouldn’t dare miss live because you may be missing the best show you never saw. My favorite memory of that band and space intersecting was a double bill with Mr. Crowe’s Garden (which later evolved into a little band called the Black Crowes). It was the night that the Guns & Roses “Live At The Roxy” MTV special debuted, sometime in 1986, and I have this distinct imprint in my head of members of both bands and most of the people in the bar huddled around a little tv mounted over the bar in the back of the room watching the show, enraptured by what they were witnessing. And then D&C took the stage and killed it. At least, that’s how I remember it. But it was a boozy night.

“Mystery Road”, the band’s third proper record, isn’t their best. Of course, it is sandwiched between a pair of truly excellent albums, “Whisper Tames A Lion” and “Fly Me Courageous.” But “Mystery Road” does have its moments that make it well worth retaining in your collection – namely the head-bobbin’ southern rock of “Honeysuckle Blue”, the pretty acoustic picking in “With The People”, the powered-up country-honk amble of “Straight To Hell” and closing it out with the one-and-a-half minute punk blur of “Syllables.” Man, I love me some crunchy twang.

Should you find yourself in need of a super sweet, sealed vinyl copy of this record, may I direct you here?…http://www.musicstack.com/item/327848588

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