Album Review – Caitlin Cannon’s “The TrashCannon Album”

photo: Karly Horenn

Like a tornado tearing through a trailer park, strewing the trash and dirty laundry everywhere, and leaving one side of a singlewide so totally exposed that every saucy detail of someone’s personal life is just sitting out there in the breeze for the entire neighborhood to see, Caitlin Cannon comes at you with this wild, attitudinal record filled with rampant oversharing and an ample bounties of wicked entertainment, appropriately titled the The TrashCannon Album.

Caitlin Cannon’s trash is the audience’s treasure trove of country and rockabilly pleasure that will have you first in stitches, then later sobbing with empathy, and then recycling the experience over and over again as you can’t get enough. Whether you’re looking for steel guitar-soaked tearjerkers, the whip-cracking attitude of Bettie Page in leopard print, or something in the spectrum in between, Caitlin Cannon has you covered, all compiled into this record that can affectionately considered a beautiful mess.

Though this Alabama native with a hairdresser mom and a brother in prison unabashedly celebrates underachieving in the opening song “Going For Bronze,” she puts everything she’s got into this effort, fearlessly bearing personal details, showing an astounding range of styles, and generally writing most current artists under the table. Nonetheless, this record is definitely for the underdogs, the also-rans, the bastards and bartenders and service workers and day laborers whose lives didn’t end up entirely as planned. But hey, we survived, and with a few stories to tell. And some like Caitlin Cannon have more stories than others.

Along the way, Cannon also takes ample time to inform you that she’s not here for your bullshit. The second track “Toolbag” let’s it be known just who wears the utility belt around these parts, while “Dumb Blonde” is all about turning the tables on those easy marks who would judge a book by its cover.

But between all the bluster and attitude is a peek behind the facade of emotional detachment and toughness to a woman willing to fess up to a serious drinking problem brought on by drowning out the reality of a bad relationship, to the true story of her hairdresser mother working her ass off to visit her brother in the penitentiary on a regular basis, to Caitlin coping with abandonment issues from her absentee father.

With the way the record starts off, you think this is going to be some jet black angry bangs fire-breathing rockabilly romp—fun, but silly and maybe a little shallow in scope. But by the end, you’re wondering if you haven’t just listened to one of the best and most cohesive works forwarded for public consumption all year. Producer Megan Burtt deserves extra kudos for making sure that each of these twelve tracks finds the perfect musical accompaniment and mood, to the dark roots hues of “Mama’s a Hairdresser,” to the a capella patty cake of “My Man.”

Such a spicy and diverse effort with such great instrumentation and varying tempers, The TrashCannon Album is like a romp through a country roots history book, and touches all the erogenous zones of the musical palette, including you honky tonk heart with what might be one of the best songs on the record, “Barbers and Bartenders.”

Bad lives and poor decisions tend to make for good country music. And though it’s a shame things can’t be all rosy and white picket fences for everyone, the theater of real life and the reassurance that no matter how hard you have it, someone else out there is in the same boat or has it worse is what makes for some of the best music. And The TrashCannon Album is some of the best music to be had.

Two Guns Up (9.5/10)

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Purchase The TrashCannon Album

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