Men hate to be fooled, especially by a women, and you can hear the anger and betrayal in The Turnpike Troubadours’ front man Evan Felker’s voice in this song about a cheating woman who lies about who she’s been with, and regrets it.
This is no ordinary cheating song full of tears and wails, it is a rootsy, fast paced, banjo, fiddle and drum driven revenge song with a chorus that invites you to sing along and ask the question to every woman or man you’ve suspected of cheating, “if you’ve been true, why can’t you look me in the eye?”
When she is caught red handed but tries to lie her way out of it, Felker lets her know, all he smells is cheap perfume, and “gin, and smoke and lies”. Then, the story of the cheating woman gets pretty gruesome, but the tempo never changes and you know there are no regrets here, she messed up and she’s going to pay. Soon, you realize he’s not going to give her a chance to explain, he’s already digging her grave and nailing the lid on the coffin.
The song reminds me of the rockin’ Ray Wylie Hubbard, Cody Canada song “Wanna Rock and Roll” in content. Although the Troubadours song leaves more to the imagination, both of them are about men who refuse to be cheated on and lied to, and the women who made that fatal mistake.
The Troubadours have had “Gin, Smoke and Lies” on their set list for awhile, and it is a great addition to their May 8th album release, “Goodbye Lonely Street“, which is full of songs about ending relationships. This is the one I can’t stop listening to.
My rating: 8/10
Goes good with: Dirty River Boys
Buy “Gin, Smoke and Lies” at Amazon.