Country Favorites

Any band that puts covers of tunes by ABBA, Slayer and Funkadelic on the same record deserves a listen on sheer principle. The fact that this twangy, Detroit-based country-rock band pulls them off so well makes this disc deserving of a place in any good CD collection. The standout cut, “Knowing Me Knowing You,” trades ABBA’s “ahhhh” vocals for steel guitar—a happy pairing of pure pop and roots-rock. Slayer’s “Die by the Sword,” now a gritty cowboy tune, evokes images of days in the saddle and the smell of dust and blood. And P-Funk’s “Maggot Brain” takes on a new, almost Floydian cosmic bent. Between the covers, lead Volebeats Jeff Oakes and Matthew Smith turn out a handful of fine originals, such as the upbeat, acoustic-driven “One I Love” and the walking-bass shuffle of “Hold On.”