Trailer Park Fire & Other Tragedies
Trailer Park Fire & Other Tragedies is the latest kank-tankerous release from Jalan Crossland. Recorded in Wyoming, in a wind-swept cabin at the Edge of Cell Phone Service, Crossland's fourth record has for him many firsts: female backing vocals, pedal steel guitar, whackadoo solos, and Jalan on electric. This is also his first album recorded with the Jalan Crossland Band. Jalan toured steadily with the album's musicians over the year preceeding the Trailer Park Fire & Other Tragedies sessions in December 2006. Anyone familiar with Jalan Crossland's songs or shows will immediately recognize his lyric voice and the blazing whammy-bar banjo player on the cover of this album. The words (printed within) are full of Jalan's sage-smoke sagas. Local hard-rock guitar gods backing bad singers, Marvin's length of logging chain, cranked-out trips to the town carnival, and a hobo's mildly-disturbing-but-still-funny carnal desire for his train. While there are several roots-musical flavors on Trailer Park Fire & Other Tragedies, the predominate taste is still traditional. An example of this is the title track, essentially an Old Plank Road for the twenty-first century. Little Iron Cross (Jalan's beautiful vocal duet with Anne Sibley) is musically a straight-up gospel tune. Yet the twangly tradition shifts to a more 50s-60s country sound on songs like Methamphetamine Saturday Night In The Country With You, or Jimmy's Band. Finally, drumset and electric bass added to Jalan's funky capos and banjo tunings propel songs like Big Country and Hoboerotica. These are two of Trailer Park Fire & Other Tragedies' edgier explorations, into something new that can still be called Americana. Steve Peterson of Lucid Sound in Minneapolis hauled his remote rig out to Centennial, WY to track all this kankiness, which he mixed and mastered later back in civilization. (Jalan liked his work on Moonshiner so well he thought he had better stick with a good thing.) The Jalan Crossland Band is: Heather Bradley (Some Kind of Cream) and Kelli Trujillo (Trouble in the Yard) who handle background vocals and some whackadoo whackin'; Shaun Kelley (Millan & Kenzie) and Pat Madsen (Millan & Kenzie and Scrappy Hamilton) are the rhythm section on bass/vocals and drums/whackadoo respectively. Additional musicians are Aaron Youngberg (Hit & Run) pedal steel; Anne Sibley (Anne and Pete Sibley) sings the Little Iron Cross duet with Jalan; and John Kidwell (The Johnsons) played trombone and set a pineapple on fire at 'Hawaiian Luau' night at the Beartree.