Michael Sands hopes that what 'The Blair Witch Project" was to modern cinema, "Finger Lick'n and Bettah Buy The Bucket" will be to the music scene. This is a 12 song collection of original material, self produced and recorded out of his small, one bedroom apartment, in Hendersonville, TN. If you like a slick, polished, Nashville sound, this is NOT the album for you. While Sands IS an accomplished guitarist and vocalist, he also covers most of the drum and bass tracks on this project. "I don't claim to be a drummer" he says, "but I've got great rhythm in my right hand from all these years of guitar playing, and I know enough about how to manipulate midi files, that I got the job done." Slick and polished, it's NOT, but it's pretty damn good, and whatever polish the production lacks, is quickly forgotten by the quality of the material.
Behind the veil of glitz, glamour, and rhinestone suits that is the perception of today's, Pop Country Music scene, is another reality, that has always been: Nashville is a community of songwriters. Sands is now part of that songwriter community, for the second time in his life. He had been here before, in the 90's where he tried his hand at writing, as well as fronting his band, The Casino Cowboys. By 1997, he had run out of money and luck, and so moved back to California, and then to Nevada, where he spent the next 15 years playing Casino's and small night-clubs, with his longtime girlfriend and partner in music, Taffi Anderson, as the duo act, Wild Deuce. "I've come back here, now, to focus on writing the best songs I can. If I ever play another cover song, it will be too soon for my liking," he said. "When you play those Casino's, they expect you to be a human juke box, for sometimes, 5-6 sets a night. Been there. Done that. Done with that."
The songs on "Finger Lick'n and Bettah Buy The Bucket" are clever, and edgy, like the opening line of That's A Bad Day:
"I woke up this morning and said, 'My ass itches', took a look around and couldn't find my britches, I was in some
stranger's house who just smiled at me, and said 'hey hey'. So I hit the door, grabbed up my guitar, buck-ass naked on
the sidewalk, trying to find my car, with nothing but a smile and a Telecaster guitar case. That's a bad day. That's a bad
day. Welcome to Nashville, son, that's a bad day. That's a bad day. That's a bad day. Hallelujah, rock 'ya Mama, thank ya
Brother, that's a bad day......"
There seems to be a little something for everybody on this CD. There are straight up blues songs, like "The Chicken Leg Blues, and "Bastard Child". There are traditional country songs like, "What's Given" and "I'll Take What I Get". Speaking of the latter song, Sands reminisces, "I'll Take What I Can Get, is a song that I had, way back when I came to Music City the first time, and I remember playing it for a very well respected producer here. After listening to the song, she said to me, 'Michael, that is with out a doubt, THE most chauvinistic piece of crap, I have heard, in quite some time" Sands, obviously, has never been much about listening, to what people tell him, as evident in the straight up, guitar-crunch rocker, 'Something Better To Do". Anderson also does a great job, of delivering a solid performance from the female perspective, with a song that Sands wrote with fellow songwriter, Tim Perry, "Ain't Your Booty Call". There are also a couple of really nice, ballads, "Eye To Eye", a song for anybody who has ever tried to be a Step-parent, and "Living On The Edge", a near to life chronicle of Sand's own trials in love and the music business.
So, whatever you may be hungry for, "Finger Lick'n and Bettah Buy The Bucket", is a full course, down home meal, served up hot, and straight out of the kitchen of one of Nashville's most undiscovered talents. Please enjoy ir-responsibly.