Mike Ness – Cheating at Solitaire

ARTIST: Mike Ness                                             220px-CheatingAtSolitaire

TITLE: Cheating at Solitaire

YEAR RELEASED: 1999

CHART ACTION: #80

SINGLES: None

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Covers Don’t Think Twice, You Win Again, and Long Black Veil

LINEUP: Mike Ness, Josh Freese, Daniel Glass, Chris Lawrence, James Saez, Veikko Lepisto, Mando Dorame. Guests Brian Setzer, Bruce Springstreen and Billy Zoom.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: First solo album by long-time Social Distortion frontman shows his rootsy leanings.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: It’s sometimes odd to see a solo album released by someone so identified and in control of their own band. Mike Ness is, for many, Social Distortion, yet when this came out in 1999, Ness showed that he’s got another side of him.

There’s more of a country and roots lean to this collection of songs – many of them are originals and mine the same lyrical content of Social Distortion. But the music has more of a relaxed feel. It’s not uptight and angry, sometimes it’s more weary and matter-of-fact.

There’s some SD still leaking through, and the album seems overly long (15 tracks seems excessive). But it was nice to see Ness branch out a bit.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: A few tracks were leftovers from older Social Distortion albums.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: One extra on the vinyl copies.

GRADE: B:  A bit too long, but a refreshing change up for the most part.

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