Brownsville Station: Still Smokin’

Michigan rockers are back after 30 years.

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The simple and joyous ethos of Brownsville Station’s first album in 30 years can be summed up in the ludicrously titled Rock And Roll Is Better Than Music, one of 12 new songs here, along with a re-recording of their only hit, 1973’s Smokin’ In The Boy’s Room.

Main brain Cub Koda died in 2000; for years, co-star Mike Lutz has been teaching guitar at home in Ann Arbor while drummer ‘H-Bomb’ Weck went on to produce Blackfoot: you can really believe they never imagined getting back together.

Brownsville were always a touring band (320 cities in the year of their big hit) and these solid blues-rock songs are pre-tooled for friendly comeback gigs. There’s a good balance of energy and old-rocker retrospect, like the whiskey song My Friend Jack, versus the rock’n’roll cartoons of Coulda Woulda Shoulda. And they haven’t tried to recreate any of the glam stuff, which would really date them.