Honkytonk Homeslice’s self-titled album kicks off with the Scott Law-penned “Shot in the Blue.” This song is completely saturated in goodness, with great harmonies, phenomenal picking, and a healthy dose of blue sky.
Law, a phenomenal multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, has been a left coast secret for some time. He's shared the stage with String Cheese Incident, Railroad Earth, Hot Buttered Rum and the invigorating Everyone Orchestra regularly. Long overdue, this collaboration with husband and wife Bill and Jilian Nershi will allow more to be reached by his work. Bill Nershi’s “Weary Homesick Blues” follows with more great front porch picking. Law’s mandolin dances around while the trio takes the chorus over the top with a high lonesome sound.
Everyone in Hokeytonk Homeslice brings songs to the album. Jilian Nershi’s “Another River” slows the pace and softly introduces the album's first electric instrumentation. Then, Law again offers up great tracks with “Let the Pieces Fall” and the instrumental lullaby “Sweet Peach.” Around the halfway point, they offer up a Jim Lauderdale/Bill Nershi-composed song, “The Big Compromise,” that could be the highlight of the album. Joined by String Cheese Incident bassist Keith Moseley, Honkytonk Homeslice delivers “School Bells” and the feeling of strolling down the street hand in hand with Al Green and Tony Rice, as they perfectly meld fine bluegrass picking with a big walking bass line and a soulful delivery.
There are many other great songs that contribute to the album's success. The covers of “Bear Creek Blues” and “Why You Been Gone So Long” exude the musicians' great taste in music and the comfort they have playing together. Honkytonk Homeslice is a must for fans of Bill Nershi. It shows another side to the excellent String Cheese Incident guitarist and hopefully will introduce a bigger audience to wife Jilian and friend Scott Law’s phenomenal talents.