1. King Of Dixie
THE UGLY GUYS release a brand new album on Angel Air (their third). PAUL SHUTTLEWORTH and VIC COLLINS were together originally in KURSAAL FLYERS (UK Top 20 hit “Little Does She Know”) and following the split of that band have been working together since 2003, with band members Steve Oliver (Jerry The Ferret), Andy Farrell (The Hamsters) and Bob Clouter (Legend).
Quite simply the band does “Americana” at its very best and the “Senior Moments” album includes 12 new compositions written by the band which excel and they deliver the goods with much gusto and bravado.
PAUL SHUTTLEWORTH, VIC COLLINS, STEVE OLIVER, ANDY FARREL, BOB CLOUTER
..."Gold Fever" however does fit the Americana bill, a popping, muted cowbell adding an urgency and immediacy to the never wasteful guitar strikes and deeply authentic vocals. "Pretty Pretty Lies", finds Shuttleworth's voice adding a slightly more fragile tone, bringing an interesting vulnerability to a confident call of country riff and roll, while it's maybe the Oliver fronted "OL'45" that possesses the deepest, boogieing groove, where the good times just keepin' on keepin' on and a few doowops are added for good measure. However it's when Senior Moments gets pensive and poised, as it does on "Neil Young In The Dark", which unsurprisingly is reminiscent of the great man himself, that this band unveil their strongest side. Yes they can rock, yes they can roll and yes they can start a party, but The Ugly Guys can also pull at the heartstrings and remind you of better days gone by and the good times ahead; which is a rare skill indeed.
There may not be many twists or turns on Senior Moments, but with that album title itself alluding to the more mature outlook this collection contains, maybe it would have been more shocking if it did. More importantly however, and through a gentle variety of styles, The Ugly Guys will keep you entertained and celebrating the good things in life and that in itself is reason enough to join them.
Sea Of Tranquility (May 2018)
....Sonically, it's spectacularly turned in, with guitarist/mandolinist Steve Oliver and pedal-steel player Vic Collins displaying chops the equal of any Nashville sessioneers and a gloss to the mix worthy of Tom Dowd. Listen to 'Neil Young In The Dark' for that Southern Soul vibe.
RnR Magazine (May 2018)
Five seniors who bring, with craftsmanship, qualitative 'feel good' Americana. That is the essence of 'Senior Moments'. Nice album!
Keys and Chords (April 2018)
The Ugly Guys are easily the best exponents of Country Rock or Cosmic American Music as Gram Parsons - anyone who worships Bernie Leadon era Eagles, The Fantastic Expedition of Dillard & Clark and the Parsons- Hillman model of The Flying Burrito Brothers should pounce on Senior Moments post haste.
What sets The Ugly Guys apart from the wannabes is their musical proficiency, songwriting smarts and lead vocalist Paul Shuttleworth's soulful edge. All songs, save a fine live version of Little Feat's Willin', are originals that primarily come from Shuttleworth and guitarist Steve Oliver- all boast a lyricism that's closer to Texas storytellers like Robert Earl Keen and Butch Hancock. There's also a touch of hard-boiled fiction in the narrative sweep of King Of Dixie, Mama Has Gone, and Handsome Boy. Whereas the evocative Neil Young In The Dark mixes Gene Pitney with Bakersfield Country and E Street Band.
Unlike like many current Alt-Country units, The Ugly Guys can rock out with authority. It's all there - cry-in-your-beer vocals, keening pedal steel guitar, the hard twang of a Telecaster and the authentic grunt of Pub Rock rhythm section. Once again, The Ugly Guys have made beautiful music.
Michael Macdonald (April 2018)
This is the third album from Americana style band The Ugly Guys. Paul Shuttleworth and Vic Collins were together originally in The Kursaal Flyers who in 1976 had a UK top 20 hit with 'Little Does She Know'...12 new songs here including 'King Of Dixie', 'Gold Fever', 'Ol' 45', 'Neil Young In The Dark' and 'Dixie Grass', there's also a bonus track...
Bev Bevan, Sunday Mercury (March 2018)