Roll, Truck, Roll
Red Simpson was a songwriter who wrote hits for Buck Owens in the early 1960s, and a performer with a clean, low singing voice and a twang he could apply or remove as needed without ever seeming dishonest or showbizzy. Four of the songs on this, his debut album, are co-written with Owens, while the title track is by Tommy Collins. Every one, no matter who wrote it, is about driving a truck, or the sorrows of being a truck driver, and some — “Nitro Express” and “Runaway Truck” — tell stories that will particularly excite your average ten-year-old boy. The music has a twitchy energy, with clean Telecaster lead lines, a sharp Bakersfield backbeat, and the odd splash of piano, particularly on “Big Mack.” With only “Truck Driver’s Blues” passing the three-minute mark, this album flies by in under half an hour.