THE BOOTHILL FOOT-TAPPERS
'Ain't That Far From Boothill'
(Mercury MERH 76)
As recently confirmed in our live pages, the Boothills, with their wholesome musical stew of country, ska, cajun and bluegrass, are one of the best bands on stage these days. Their vinyl offerings have been rather patchy in qualify but with this, their first album, we find them in buoyant form.
Chris Thompson, the old softie, continues to come up with unhip yet immensely likeable songs about love's uphill struggles finding a perfect vehicle in Wendy May's tender vocals. Included are the minor classics of Jealousy and a re-recorded Get Your Feet Out Of My Shoes, plus the equally endearing Nothing Ventured and Stand Or Fall, the latter featuring some fine singing by washboard ace Marnie. Sunday Evening is a sleepy, one-shandy-too-many chorus, that serves as showcase for the girls' clever harmonies.
Doubtless, cynics out there will sneer at the band's modest musical talents, at the odd bum note and a dodgy song or two, but all this is part of their unpolished charm - especially welcome in an age of squeaky-clean digital workouts. Ain't That Far From Boothill is a sound début album, and yet another reason for taking this band to your hearts. ■■■■
This review was published in Record Mirror of 5 October 1985. It had Echo and the Bunnymen on the cover and the original issue cost 48p.
In the same period, Trouser Press was less forgiving; Ira Robbins wrote
"Unfortunately, the album makes a crime of eclecticism: the band dabbles in everything from ska to country-western, connecting emotionally with none of it. Flat, insipid production (mostly by Dick Cuthell) matches the performances' lack of spunk; the net result is a record without depth or charm. Even a new version of Get Your Feet Out Of My Shoes sounds tedious and contrived."