Fred's Country Fried Rock: Eric Strickland, “18 Wheels of Hell on the Highway” (2012)

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There are deeper and more serious songs on Eric Strickland and the B Sides’ new album Honky Tonk ‘Til I Die, but there’s not one that’s more fun. “18 Wheels of Hell on the Highway” is an absolute blast to listen to.

The song is very much rooted in the 1970s, and it will certainly at least bring to mind Jerry Reed’s “East Bound and Down” and the days of “Smokey and the Bandit.” It’s the classic country trucker song with all of the attitude and conventions that implies – particularly high speeds, heavy loads and tight deadlines. It’s a song designed to keep the guy behind the wheel awake and rolling into the night, and even those of us who drive much smaller trucks can enjoy cranking the song up while heading down the highway and singing along with Strickland as he brags about being “58 foot of a mother-trucking dream.”

It’s a rocking tune, and the band gets a little jam session after the first verse, as the guitarist, harmonica player and pedal steel player all get a few minutes to strut their stuff before the song picks up again.

Though it’s a little more fun than the rest of the album, it’s very in character for the songs on Honky Tonk ‘Til I Die. They’re all a blast straight out of the 1970s, and you’ll hear a whole lot of influence from guys like Merle Haggard and David Allan Coe throughout the record. It’s a style of country that’s largely been lost, and well worth a listen.

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Fred Phillips

Fred Phillips

Fred Phillips is a veteran entertainment writer with a love of hard rock and heavy metal. He has written music reviews, columns and feature stories for several newspapers, Web sites and a national wire service, while running a stand-alone site called Hall of the Mountain King in various places and incarnations since 1997. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelse reviews.com.
Fred Phillips
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