Ike Reilly may belong to the staggering evening, but he’s spent his sweltering nights cultivating a cache of classics that would make most songwriters turn green with envy. For the last two decades he’s been one of the most consistent voices in rock and roll, but continues to fly under the radar of most casual music listeners. On his latest album, Crooked Love, Ike and his band let loose and ended up making a record full of great songs that’s as much fun as anything they’ve done.
Of course mixed in with all the fun are some important messages about the world in which we currently live. The best song on the album, “Boltcutter Again”, deals with the racists that currently make up the bulk of the US government and their sad and ridiculous attempts to keep anyone that isn’t white out of the States. It plays a bit like a “Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream” for 2018. For some added sonic enjoyment there’s an element of War’s “Spill The Wine” in there as well.
There are threads you can pick out on Crooked Love that will take you back to other songs from Ike’s catalogue, which might be why this album feels almost like a greatest hits of brand new tracks. The melody and tempo of “Don’t Turn Your Back On Friday Night” sounds very similar to parts of “Valentine’s Day In Juarez.” Totally different songs, but they’re definitely related. Ike Reilly has pulled some of the best sounds from his previous seven albums and re-worked them into a spectacular eighth record.
At 37 minutes, Crooked Love is short by today’s standards. It flies by in the blink of an eye. I have it set to replay automatically on my phone, so the sequencing has become a bit jumbled for me. And I think this album is one of the few where the sequencing doesn’t really matter that much. Every song can stand on its own, independent of the others. They sound great all together, though.
There are two separate residencies going on for Ike this month-one at Old Town School Of Folk Music in Chicago and at Icehouse in Minneapolis. He’s been able to play consistently in these two cities and developed a large enough fan base that he sells out nearly every time he shows up. For more info on upcoming shows, including St Louis and Philadelphia, click here.
To pre-order the album or pre-save it on Spotify or Apple Music, click here.