The John Henrys - Sweet as the Grain
- Brian Donaldson
- 8 January 2009
In popular folklore, John Henry spent his days erecting railroads and digging tunnels, taking on a steam powered drill to discover whether a man could beat a machine. Henry did his side proud but died from exhaustion. Whether the Canadian country fivesome who have taken his name put quite the same back-breaking effort into the construction of Sweet as the Grain is hugely doubtful.
But in taking it easy, the Ontario outfit have stayed true to their roots. Even when things threaten to get abrasively tunesome with ‘Lost in the Canyon’ and ‘Ugly Town’, they bring it all back home with the straw-suckin’ ‘Ain’t Gonna Drink No More’ and the defiant hootenanny of ‘No More Rock ‘n’ Roll’. More wheat than chaff.