Hard Luck Stories
Ike Reilly is a folksinger for the modern age — which means he operates with a loud, vicious backing band and doesn’t mince words. No matter the raucous heartland rock blare of his band, Reilly sings loud and clear in a voice that’s firmly Dylanesque. He’s not looking for misunderstandings. This is his turf. The guy who works his magic on the ladies for “Morning Glory” doesn’t quite have the fangs for the job, while the Romeo of “7 Come 11” shifts from sad to pathetic. The barroom swagger of “The War on the Terror and Drugs” leaves plenty of room for Reilly’s strenuous singing to explain the world he’s struggling to understand. With Shooter Jennings along for the ride, the two slide from world events to women. “Good Work” squirts out a messy blues groove as a recent high school graduate looks for work. “Ballad of Jack and Haley” examines the War on Drugs, its penal code and its effect on people too young to understand the consequences.