Thriftstore Masterpiece

"Trouble Is A Lonesome Town"

(Sideone Dummy Records); Country

By ​Phil ​Bennett

This is a strange spaghetti Western of an album, replete with sonorous, heavily accented narrative voiceover, mariachi horns and Dick Dale inspired guitar twanging.

Re-enacting Lee Hazlewood’s original debut album with a cast of pop industry misfits such as Frank Black of the Pixies and Courtney Taylor-Taylor of the Dandy Warhols sounds like a bit of a pointless flight of fancy.

Which is sort of what the album was/is - a curious collection of songs about even more curious characters who inhabit a fictitious Americana smalltown, which never bothered the charts and showed only a slight hint of the brightness of Hazlewood’s star.

Hazlewood himself actually never intended for it to be released.
As kitsch as three ceramic flying ducks, it’s the perfect choice of endeavour for someone like Charles Normal to put together.

From its dimestore newsagent cover to its ironic delivery, the whole project is a smile inducing labour of love that is quirky and, for those who get bored with straight lines and things that make too much sense, thoroughly enjoyable indeed.

If any of the following tickle your fancy, then this album just might be for you - Green Acres, B-52s, Django Unchained, Twin Peaks, the Cramps, The Phantom comic….

It appears that this is the first of more revisits and here’s hoping that Thriftstore Masterpiece survives to continue its mission of “paying homage to the underdog records of years past”.


​Phil ​Bennett

Musician, actor, singer, music reviewer, Phil’s interests cover a lot of bases and this is reflected in the music he writes about. From blues to soul, ambient to electronic, Phil writes about artists he feels are interesting, true to their craft and worthy of your ears.