It's official: Chris Sprague is the new king of truck-drivin' music. His claim to this crown rests not on my word, though. Instead, his status as the top dog of trucker music was proclaimed by the legendary Red Simpson at Sprague's recent show at Trout's, which is probably the last remaining true honky-tonk bar in Bakersfield. Simpson, the artist behind such anthems as Nitro Express, I'm A Truck, and Truck Drivin' Fool among many other great tunes, has more than enough experience with truck-drivin' music to render his statement definitive. In fact, he was so impressed with Sprague and his backing band (The 18 Wheelers) that he got up on stage and sang a few numbers with them, as seen in the photo on the left.
To date, Sprague has released two truck-driving cd's, both of which are well worth tracking down. Despite the fact that Sprague has recorded several discs with his brother Frank (as the Sprague Brothers) and as the drummer in Deke Dickerson's Ecco-Fonics, his first truck-driving release (Hammer Down!) didn't come out until 2005. A few months ago, he unveiled a superb follow up (Diesel Made For Two) on the Spinout label. Both releases combine tasty originals with well-chosen covers and are brimming with meaty steel guitar riffs and the bracing sound of Fender Telecaster guitars. The first two tracks below come from his new disc on the Spinout label and the following two can be found on his first release, Hammer Down! which was released on 18 Wheeler Records.
Chris Sprague - Diesel Made For Two (MP3, 2:02)
Chris Sprague - Roll On Big Mama (MP3, 2:43)
Chris Sprague - Diesel Smoke And Cigarettes (MP3, 2:46)
Chris Sprague - Almost Home (MP3, 3:07)