We’re not in Kansas anymore. No matter if we were, trouble would certainly find us according to Fiction, Fact or Folktale?, the new release by Have Gun Will Travel.
From the media-curated apocalyptic opening single, “Standing at the End of the World,” to “Take Me Home, Alice,” the Christmas dirge that closes the album, the 10 songs on Fiction, Fact or Folktale? are travelogues of sorts, detailing cautious escapism with just a hint of irony — and presented with the insouciance of street buskers strumming their songs to nobody in particular. All that matters is the players know they and their songs are good.
I’ve been looking for a way to
Put my troubles in the rearview
Maybe try to catch a clear view
Of what’s down the line
Whether romping through the horn-laced “High Road” or detailing the murder of a failed film director by his lead actor in “The Show Must Go On,” a cautionary tale akin to Tom Petty’s “Into the Great Wide Open,” the characters inhabiting Fiction, Fact or Folktale? continue along their paths without second-guessing continual missteps, hoping for better fortune to come their way.
Staring at a loss of innocence
Through the rust on a window pane
Tension like an awkward silence
In the eye of a hurricane
The world is not always a pretty place. Have Gun Will Travel do not try to sugarcoat this fact. They are simply messengers dispatched by denizens of low places who hold out hope for a better tomorrow. Should tomorrow never come, at least we have Fiction, Fact or Folktale? to sing us to sleep this evening.