espite the fact that I still don’t own his entire catalog, I’m saddened by Jude Cole’s apparent decision to record others’ music instead of creating more of his own.
This morning as I was taking Russia Saturn to work Jude put a smile on my face with my favorite track off “Start the Car”—”First Your Money (Then Your Clothes)”
A simple tale of misguided affections is accompanied by simple but effective music. One of the first things that struck me when I was learning the song was that the bass (my starting point) isn’t doing anything other than the root note of each chord: bom, bom, bom, bom instead of a rockabilly shuffle or alternating country bass or some complicated rock riff.
The album’s opening with the crunch of the title track strongly reinforces the laid back country feel of the rest of the album. “First Your Money” has the same kind of wryly amusing lyrics you might find in the work of Brad Paisley or even Roger Miller:
My mom said, "Son, it won't last She'll be gone when you're out of cash." Hey, Mom, I need a ride back home
We stopped to wish upon a star She stole my breath; she stole my car
And one more:
Oh, no, love ain't cheap There's a tollbooth up on lover's leap
Just as “Start the Car” is aggressive without being angry, “First Your Money” is more about lessons learned than some tragedy about love gone wrong. For my money it’s a better message.