Heartache Never Sounded so Good
Since Gas For Less first took the stage in 2007, they’ve been reminding audiences that Country music is more than the slick crossover exports of Nashville. In as unlikely a place as Detroit, among a sea of urban-outfitted indie bands, Ryan Racine is doing what he has been for nearly 20 years, writing original music rooted in 50s and 60s Americana—with infectious melodies and smart, accessible lyrics.
Although Racine’s lyrics are often whiskey-drenched, self-deprecating odes to misery and loss, it’s often tongue in cheek and played with such upbeat rhythms and cheerful melodies that it reminds you that music is still the best cure for a broken heart.
The band’s sound is covertly complex. Undeniably Bakersfield (Bourbon-gold vocals, biting Telecasters, and high lonesome harmonies) though a closer listen reveals deeper influences. It pays considerable homage to 60s Country but manages to avoid the retro-gimmick pitfalls that many “rockabilly” acts encounter and reveals the less expected influence of acts ranging from Social Distortion to Tom Petty, the Monkees, and Neil Diamond.
Ryan Racine first made a name for himself as the front man of Ann Arbor’s rockabilly outfit Lucky Haskins. Formed when he was only 15, the band burst onto the metro Detroit rockabilly scene and quickly garnered attention and a loyal fan base. Besides introducing the genre to a whole new generation in the area, they earned spots opening for legends like Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, and Lee Rocker as well as a slot in the 1995 Detroit Music Awards.
Post Lucky Haskins, Ryan continued to wow crowds as a guitarist/sideman for country outfits like Los Diablos and KC Groves. He was also a founding member of the popular Irish-punk group Mogue Doyle, which shared the stage with Flogging Molly and Shane MacGowan.
Ryan Racine & Gas For Less have released two EPs to date (Low Life Volumes 1&2) that showcase their versatile “California by way of Detroit” Country. The band is sure to make Country fans take notice and non-Country fans think twice.