Merle Jagger

REVIEW: Merle Jagger “Trash Talking Guitars”


Merle Jagger – Trash Talking Guitars

Some basic country-rockabilly that isn’t delivered in colorful wrapping paper but brown paper bag without a bow. Down & dirty, smart & crafty, somewhere between Webb Wilder & Junior Brown.

The band Merle Jagger opens with “Reckless” – ain’t anything new, but it’s a showcase of old-world ways polished with new wax. Despite that description, the music doesn’t always come off as retro – but vintage with bright notes. Everything is basically exciting. It’s as if they know their country roots haven’t forgotten their Rocky Burnette rock mixed with the rockabilly riches of his late father Johnny Burnette.

Merle Jagger

“Hurt By Love,” sounds like it would’ve been released by Liberty Records in the early 60s. Guitars are melodic & the notes sharp. This is strictly an environment of Wilder, Brown, Burnette, a little Kim Wilson (Fabulous Thunderbirds), lots of Del-Lords, The Brandos, Doug Sahm, & The Blasters. That’s where the Merle Jagger seeds are planted.

“Broken Home Yard Sale,” is hilarious & true, the tune has a nice dynamic. Guitars chime melodically, & the drums drive like a train on an old track. The vocals are rootsy & despite the retro frame all are freshly painted cleverly perfected modern updates of yesteryear.

The 34-minute Trash Talking Guitars (Drops July 15–Independent) are 10-tracks by the band Merle Jagger — named for Merle Travis (not Haggard) & some guy from England named Mick. No one person is Merle Jagger. There isn’t a dull song in this set. Rockabilly, western swing, bluegrass & retro guitars make up this hot ticket endeavor. It may sound vintage but it’s like a fully restored jalopy to its former glory.

When the PR described their music they used every applicable word but left out these – energetic, with exceptional vibrancy & imaginative performances. Even the most simplistic tunes are refreshingly new. Musically, “Run, Johnny Run,” & “Ranch Rock Revival,” are impressive tracks. Hot thick & consistent. While their “Blue Moon of Kentucky,” won’t put a dent in Elvis’ cover of the Bill Monroe classic Merle Jagger keeps the song steady, simple & genuine.

The trio is Mark Christian (guitars/bass/banjo/lead & backup vocals/producer), Johnny Ray (drums) & Nick Zingraf (bass). Color image courtesy of the band Facebook.

Song samples @ Reverbnation. Purchase @

Find our premiere of “Reckless” and interview, here: Song Premiere and Interview: Merle Jagger “Reckless

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