Home Read Classic Album Review: The Backsliders | Southern Lines

Classic Album Review: The Backsliders | Southern Lines

The Carolina band's sophomore LP earns them a place in roots-rock’s pantheon.

This came out in 1999 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Think of the great roots-rock bands — everyone from The Band to The Blasters, Texas Tornados to Los Lobos. Now think about adding another name to that list: North Carolina’s Backsliders.

Like those other acts, their sound is firmly anchored in decades of traditional Americana, from Hank Williams’ honky-tonk and Bill Monroe’s high-lonesome harmonies to The Flying Burrito Brothers’ soulfully torchy twang. On this superlative second album, singer-songwriter Chip Robinson and co. skillfully combine these elements and more to produce thoughtful, earthy tales that recall John Hiatt’s finest moments. And hey, you’ve gotta love a band that can name-check The Flamin’ Groovies, Abe Lincoln and Brand New Cadillac — all in the same tune.