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Album Review: Cliff Westfall – Baby You Win

Artist: Cliff Westfall
Album: Baby You Win
Year: 2018
Label: Independent
Genre: 50s/60s Rock and Roll, Bakersfield Sound, Americana

This week’s review is for Kentucky native and now New York-based, Cliff Westfall’s most recent album Baby You Win. Baby You Win is a cheeky album all about relationships—heartache, falling in and out of love, Mr. Rights, Mr. Wrongs, and Mr. Right Nows. The album art is fantastic. Lately, artists like Colter Wall, Joshua Hedley, Zephaniah OHora, Whitney Rose, Aaron McDonnell, last week’s feature Belle Plaine, Casey James Prestwood, and Charley Crockett have all been embracing a more vintage look for their more vintage sounding albums, and I’m definitely here for it.

Photo Credit: Rosie Cohe

In his biography on his website, Westfall’s sound is described as “a new idea of Americana, drawing inspiration from sources often forgotten by the current country scene.” I wholeheartedly agree with that because it was the Elvis sound, meets Dwight Yoakam’s fancy guitar work, meets Roger Miller’s witty lyrics that drew me in. It’s a toe-tapping mix of 50s/60s rock and roll coloured country, with some Bakersfield sound, and jive.

Photo Credit: Rosie Cohe

I love this nouveau take on that era and sound of country music. It’s the kind of music you just have to bop around to, and if you can sit there stalk still and stoned face, there’s something seriously wrong with you, my friend. I know full well that some people find the more classic sounding country very bland or boring, but the funky riffs with his clever lyrics that incorporate plays on words and witty one-liners, and steady baseline make the entire album incredibly exciting and easy to listen to. It’s another one of those albums full of songs that should be playing in the background over a whiskey or a cold beer at the bar. Baby You Win is an album we all should listen to and reminisce on. I’ll be waiting for the day that this style of country music makes its way back up to the frontlines, who’s with me?

Favourite songs: It Hurt Her to Hurt Me, Till The Right One Comes Along, The End of the Line, Sweet Tooth

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