This week, I am ‘Spillin’ The Beans on a new album by Beta Days called S.T.T. (which means Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday – an acronym for the days of the week on which the album was recorded).
For dull reasons, ‘Spillin’ The Beans is a day late this week, but never mind, this week’s column is about a very interesting album, Amerikana, by yet another band I’ve not previously heard of, and that band is The Stevenson Ranch Davidians, even though they have been around in various forms since 2006, although they haven’t released anything since 2009, which makes me feel better about my ignorance of their existence.
This week, ‘Spillin’ The Beans is exploring “Pull“, the new EP by Rival Shapes.
This week, I am reviewing music in a much more traditional genre, Blues Rock. The band is from Canada, they are called The Road Heavy and they have out an eponymous six track EP. The band consists of Pat James on vocals and guitar, Sweet Jules on vocals, lead guitarist Ryan Blake, Jesse Harwat on keyboards, Andre DaSilva on bass and drummer Jeff Cox.
Their sound is pretty muscular and if people are interested in hearing it, the music is here.
So, what can I say about The Road Heavy? Well, there are a few points of reference, I think. The twin male/female vocal approach immediately made me think of bands from the past like Vinegar Joe, but musically, the sound is harder, less funky and tighter, driven by some excellent guitar playing. I can imagine the band putting on a pretty storming live performance. There are echoes of bands like Bad Company, Free and Stone The Crows here, but I think that comparisons like that might be misleading, because I think that there is a more contemporary feel to the playing.
I’ve listened to the six tracks twice now and I think that the single taken from the EP, entitled “Human Condition” is a pretty good place to start. There is a video of this track available;
So, what do I think? I think the band are fine, they have a great punchy sound and I like their music. It isn’t breaking any new ground musically, but it delivers what you want from this kind of blues rock. I can think of people I know who would lap this stuff up. Give them a listen.
A couple of years ago I read an article about the Country Music Awards which referred to an artist called Chris Stapleton – he stole the show with two duet performances with Justin Timberlake (I have a secret crush on Justin Timberlake btw). I’d never heard of him. As you’ve hopefully now learned from these posts, my next move was to check out the impressively bearded man. He has a decent heritage as a successful songwriter for other artists and had recently released his own solo album called Traveller (new album due soon). It is the most gorgeous collection of soul searching tunes about life and love. Soon after my introduction to Stapleton, a friend with a huge music knowledge and much tidier beard than all the fellas in the pictures, suggested tracks by The White Buffalo and a group called Blackberry Smoke.
The White Buffalo, or Jake Smith to his mum, has a larger solo output than Stapleton. He drew a wider audience after some of his music featured in the popular biker-club TV series Sons of Anarchy. His most recent album, Love and the Death of Damnation, came out at about the same time as Stapleton’s Traveller. His versatile voice lends a mournful tone to his musical stories which feature a gritty reality at their core. Again – beautiful.
And so to Blackberry Smoke; a loveable crew of southern rockers with real variety to their repertoire. They can do heavyish rock, classic country sound and funkier soulful stuff. There’s often a little glint of humour about their output. Apparently they are great live and have a reputation for being a hard working band.
I love the music these artists offer up, but I know next to nothing else about Americana/Southern Rock/Country. The other day I was listening to Chris Stapleton’s new single and wondered where all the women of this genre are. I’m not talking the old style female country singers we all know. I’m talking the new generation. Where are they? I could go and do my own homework, but where’s the fun in that, when I have you guys to help me out? I know at least 2 of you will know something about this.
Yet again ‘Spillers I come to you to fill in the gaps in my musical knowledge. What can you tell me about all this and who else should I be tracking down?
No, no, don’t worry, the Spill hasn’t just been sponsored by an international sporting goods manufacturer, nor have we been “cast-away”. (see what I did there???)
Rather, this crazy (and regularly absent) Spill contributor from down under was browsing through his music collection the other day and got to thinking about a large number of musical “Wilsons”. The Marconium already has six solo Wilson artists, probably countless more if we include band members, and that may be the tip of the iceberg.
So, as a semi-regular series, I thought each Wednesday that I get around to it, I will showcase a “Wilson” and open up comment/debate on that Wilson. There are of course obvious Wilsons to explore, and we will, but there will also be some more obscure ones as well. Hey, I will even take requests for Wilsons, and better still, happy for anyone else to provide a write up for Wilson Wednesday – you are all so much more musically knowledgeable than I am.