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Album Cover TJ Dennis - TJ's Diner (Both Barrels Music)

So what's the world coming to? We've got bands from Alabama singing with Phil Collin's English accents, we've got rappers in the UK talkin' like they's from Brooklyn, we've got West Coast bands coming across like some strange amalgamation of the US South and the Middle East. So, I guess it's only fitting that some of the best country music that's crossed my desk for a while happens to come from Western Australia.

While I'm not a huge country & western fan myself, TJ's got a voice and personae that can't be put down just because of the genre she's in, and the band backing her up definitely know their stuff. The steel guitar on this is especially nice, miked perfectly so it actually stands out from the rest of the instruments (but not overbearingly so).

This isn't the sappy kind of country with some woman singing about how much she misses a man who's out chasing 15-year-olds at the pool hall. This is the kind of country where you don't want to piss the singer off or she'll either A) walk out or B) make you wish she had. God damn, I feel like jumping in a truck and driving for about 20 hours on nothing but coffee and cigarettes, just listening to this thing.

by Holly Day