In my opinion what is sometimes missing in the Americana music scene is a little bit of extra sass and swagger – too often artists will make beautiful music but they don’t really imprint themselves too much on the listener. In contrast Caitlin Cannon’s The Trashcannon Album has enough personality to make even the drunkest honky tonk angel sober up and take notice.
The album opens with a tongue in cheek take on the state of being underpaid and striving to succeed in the old US of A. Going for the Bronze is a hilarious story song about the problems of America’s education system, an expose of how hard it is to succeed. The girl group style backing vocals add a distinctive and self-deprecating touch to the song too. On Better Job a barmaid takes a wry look at her career and concludes that there has to be something more to life than this.
Toolbag (I mean the song title alone is worth the price of admission) is another brilliantly funny song. Musically she comes out swinging too, mixing some classic rock and honky tonk.
She sounds hungover and heartbroken on Drink Enough, trying to block out the irritations we all face daily. Mama’s A Hairdresser is a heavier rockier sound, telling stories of the darker side of life.
Musically this is not a one dimensional album with My Man using handclaps to offer a love song with with a twist. Surprisingly Dumb Blonde is not a Dolly cover, in fact it’s more western style than classic country (although she does give a nod to the famous song at the end). Her song does have a similar feisty take on the sexist stereotypes as Dolly did, using a gambling metaphor.
Deliver shows she can pull off a sweeter acoustic sound too, singing about a woman longing for change that will never arrive. Country music is about real people and real pain, stories which Barbers and Bartenders hear daily. Cannon takes these moments and sings about them without ever falling into sentiment or cliche. Daddy O-Mine and Cannonball finish off the album with similar introspective moments of emotional honesty.
Honest, hilarious and very, very smart The Trashcannon Album is a riotously fun listen, with a thoughtful storyteller’s heart. Caitlin Cannon is a blast of fresh air and a real talent to watch.