This is the sound of tattooed scars, cauterized wounds, and calloused hands. This is the sound of folks with sinewy muscles and bulging veins earned not from pumping iron, but from forging steel and beating back rust while punching a time clock. This is the sound of working men thrashing around in bed at night, tortured with the fear of not being able to feed their families.
This is the sound of young couples fighting to get the bills paid and to find a way ahead. This is the sound of the farmer cursing the soil, and praying to the Lord for a good enough yield to keep out of foreclosure for another year. It’s also the sound of a young and hungry musician trying to get his, and refusing to take any handouts or shortcuts. This is the sound of Tony Logue from Western Kentucky, and it commands your attention.
Unlike some of his compatriots from the bluegrass state, Tony’s from the part of Kentucky that butts up against parts of the Rust Belt and the Midwest. That comes through in his music with a blue collar attitude and big influence from Springsteen and Heartland rock. Yet the way the steel guitar cuts through the mix and Logue’s Southern accent is so inescapable, it gives these songs a country music heart.
Tony Logue first appeared on the radar of Saving Country Music early last year with the release of his album Jericho in January of 2022. It set the bar for releases for the rest of the year. But even as many of Louge’s contemporaries have signed big deals or exploded in popularity—especially those from Kentucky—he still remains relatively underground, and hungry. That may be a hard lot for Logue, but it’s good for the music.
There’s something about the punch and that attitude of Tony Logue’s delivery that makes you believe every word he sings wholeheartedly. You can feel the grit beneath the fingernails, the blood drips, and the motor oil blotches that stain this music like in the song “The Fight” about earning everything you’ve got coming to you, and “The Crumbs” about never getting enough, no matter how hard you fight.
But Tony Logue is not just braying on about bad times because that makes for good country rock songs. There’s a story behind most every song, and it’s hard to not convince yourself that every word of that story is true for someone, even if it’s fiction. Tony really wows you at times with writing that’s next level.
It’s not “The Ride” by David Allan Coe per se, but a similar spine-tinging realization of who a song is about is part of the experience of “Jesse.” Telling someone’s story through the experience of getting a tattoo is another example of Tony Logue’s next-level writing in “The Phoenix.” He scares you a bit at first with “The Fire,” thinking it will be a bad Bruce Springsteen rendition. But the song ends up being a fine homage to The Boss.
Hopefully The Rolling Stone finally writes about Logue after he dedicates a song to the rag on this album and says how getting his name on it would be validation. But with how wayward that outlet has gone in the past few years, Tony shouldn’t hold his breath, or value such a thing too much. Validation these days come from the fans directly, and the folks who interface with Tony Logue’s music often walk away raving about it.
Well-written, well-performed and produced by the whole crew behind Tony, gritty and true, The Crumbs is a great record that will fall into the good graces of country fans, Heartland rockers, and rust belt survivors alike because they all have one thing in common: they’re workers and fighters. Sometimes it feels like few if anyone is paying attention to these folks in the forgotten flyover regions of the United States, but Tony Logue forgets nobody, canonizing the common man acutely because he comes from their lot.
1 3/4 Guns Up (8.3/10)
– – – – – – – – –
Purchase from Tony Logue