Whether it's a savvy marketing ploy or a genuine statement about musical pedigree, the name Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash chose is guaranteed to produce some ink.

Whether it's a savvy marketing ploy or a genuine statement about musical pedigree, the name Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash chose is guaranteed to produce some ink. The key is to have the chops to back it up, and in that department these Bastards don't disappoint. Stylistically, the group's music alternates between hip twangfest and truck drivers on acid, ranging from the more country-leaning Marshall Tucker Band ("Texas Sun," "Trains Gonna Roll") to Marty Robbins in his Wild West mode ("Blade," "Seven Steps"). The steel-drenched title cut is a cry-in-your-beer lament, "440 Horses" is a trucker shuffle with manic purpose, and a take on Merle Haggard's "Silver Wings" is a two-step delight. In total, "Walk Alone" is a surprisingly straight-ahead country record by a band that obviously takes its music seriously. That said, Bastards like these don't typically end up on mainstream country radio.—RW

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