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City-bred redneck rowdiness

Better Late Than Never
Better Late Than Never
By Married By Elvis

Self-released: 2007

Buy it now

This review first appeared in the November 27, 2007 issue of the North County Times.

Aiming for a kind of city-bred redneck rowdiness, Solana Beach's Married By Elvis is equal parts old-school honky tonk, modern Nashville jacuzzi country and '80s rockabilly revival. Think of their first album as a sort of Faith Hill meets Mojo Nixon experiment, wedding outlaw attitude with a ready accessibility.

Lead singer Julia Garlington has grown tremendously over the past few years, and her performance on this CD finds her exuding an air of utter confidence. Relaxed and in strong voice, Garlington steps easily from country ballads to twangy rockers.

She also wrote or co-wrote 10 of the 11 songs here, and shows similar growth here. "Sin City" could easily end up a staple on modern country radio, while in "My Inlaws Should Be Outlawed," the band has a standout song with a legit shot at immortality. Whether it will become a hit, a cult fave or a fixture on Dr. Demento – or some combination of those options – it's not a song likely to be ignored by those who've heard its Blue Collar Comedy Tour-flavored lyrics or its unforgettable melodic hook.

With a rock-solid band (including husband and co-leader Dan Herzberg on bass) behind Garlington, Married By Elvis shows they've got a heck of a lot more going for them than a clever name.