Browsing Tag

country rock

The sands of time slip away in Jeff Batson’s transmission of Americana-tinged college radio rock, End of the Grains

The feel-good fervour in Jeff Batson’s latest single, End of the Grains, allows you to imagine a parallel universe where Slash turns his iconic riffs to quintessentially uplifting college radio rock which effervesces with full-bodied and finessed to the nth-degree twangs of Americana.

The sentimentality within this sticky-sweet reminder of our mortality rings with immense sincerity, allowing the warmth-infused waves to crash over you as you catch the Nashville-based star’s indomitable lust for life. If you take each one of the mantras rhythmically laid out in the uplifting anthem, your life will start to feel like a utopia before the outro comes around and compels you to dive back into the melodically enriching tour de force.

Virtuoso may be a word that gets banded around a little too readily in the music industry, but Jeff Batson is a rare artist who warrants it with his mettle, which led to a Grammy nomination for writing the chart-topping single, The Rock, for fellow country star, Tracy Lawrence.

Batson’s career has been an endless series of triumphs, from sharing stages with Hank Williams Jr, Tracy Byrd, and Collin Raye to performing on TNN’s Prime Time Country show. With a presence that could light up any room, he deserves to be championed to the end of the earth.

Stream End of the Grains on Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The country rock rapture arrived through The Whiskey State’s latest single, Where I Need to Be

In the valleys of Hampshire, The Whiskey State, comprising Tom Stride and Jordan Tate, has distilled a sound that resonates with the soul of country and the riotous heart of rock. Their latest single, “Where I Need to Be,” is a testament to their journey from college companions to creators of exhilaratingly sticky-sweet euphoria.

Imagine extracting the quintessence of The Manic Street Preachers, Bruce Springsteen, and Sam Fender, then blending it into a musical elixir. The result? A flavour profile as affecting as “Where I Need to Be,” a song that pays homage to the sanctity of country surrounds. It’s a track that stirs the soul so profoundly, that you might find yourself questioning if any roots-reverent rock track has ever touched it quite like this before.

The song encapsulates tender homecoming yearning through the guitar chords that wrap you in nirvana and endlessly ensnaring vocal hooks which make it impossible not to want to make The Whiskey State your sonic poison of choice. The songwriting prowess of the duo is as evident as their ability to catapult listeners into the soulful aura of their music.

Few things feel better than returning to whatever constitutes home, but this track comes a close second. With their debut EP “Welcome to…”, The Whiskey State not only showcases their distinctive blend of country and rock influences but also cements their place as one of the most captivating country-influenced rock duos in the Uk and beyond..

Stream the official music video for Where I Need to Be via YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Ami Leigh darkened Americana’s Door with the Luxe Beguile in Her Ground-breaking Single, Foretold ft Neil Gibson

Ami Leigh, hailing from County Durham, UK, has long been an aurally beguiling chameleon. Her latest single, Foretold, marks a striking foray into country rock, infused with the essence of Portishead and the chill of rock-licked post-punk.

Foretold is a poignant narrative of doomed love regaled through Leigh’s crystalline vocal lines. Her voice, imbued with soulful clarity, weaves through the hauntingly reimagined Americana soundscape, creating a contrast that is both striking and harmonious. The cold, instrumental chill she introduces strips the genre of its traditional warmth, yet the ensuing guitar solos ignite a familiar country rock fire. This juxtaposition is Leigh’s genius, offering a fresh, yet respectful nod to her influences, ranging from The Cure to Pink Floyd.

Neil Gibson’s contribution cannot be overlooked. His guitar work echoes the emotional turbulence of the song’s narrative while elevating the release and adding layers of complexity and familiarity, ensuring Americana aficionados won’t feel lost in the artfully arcane textures. Foretold doesn’t just belong to the country rock genre; it expands it.

If you have ever endured a relationship fated to meet an ugly demise and come out the other side imbittered by your own naivety, expect Foretold to hit hard as the guitars shimmer and the harmonies bring you to rapture.

Watch the official music video for Ami Leigh’s latest single on YouTube, add it to your Spotify playlists, or purchase the track on Apple Music.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Stone Senate delivered a spectral confession of aching emotion with their latest single, Ghost

Stone Senate’s new single Ghost resonates with a poignant blend of lyrical indie rock and Americana, capturing the essence of feeling invisible and failing to keep pace in an ever-changing world. It is a powerful testament to the band’s unique ability to evolve above their influences, transcending all expectations, on this occasion, in a spectrally scintillating style.

The essence of Ghost lies in its mellifluously captivating progressions, which will haunt you as you relate to them on an intrinsically deep level. Clint Woolsey’s smouldering, soulful vocals serve as the emotional core, delivering sonorously affecting lines that resonate with anyone grappling with feelings of obscurity and the fleeting nature of cherished memories.

The true magic of Ghost, however, is in how it balances emotional weight with a lack of self-pity. It’s a confession of aching emotion, offering comfort to those who see their own reflections in this superlative rock track. The soaring guitar solo, meticulously executed by James Beau Edwards and Ted Hennington, invites listeners into a moment of profound contemplation, seamlessly blending with the tight, bonded rhythm section of Paul Zettler on bass and David “DZ” Zettler on drums.

Stone Senate, having been compared to legends like Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Allman Brothers Band, is not content to rest on the laurels of their influences. Instead, they push boundaries, creating a sound that is distinctly and modernistically their own.

Ghost is now available to stream on all major platforms via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Dave Wilbert was born to take the wheel and drive in his country-rock earworm, Tractors and Trucks

Springsteen was born to run, but Dave Wilbert was born to take the wheel and drive in his country-rock earworm Tractors and Trucks, which delves beyond the stereotypes and into the intricacies of the identities of people who spend their lives outside of the city smoke.

Tractors and Trucks rips up all the tropes and cliches of country and scatters them like confetti within the anthemically polished production which will lure you in with the bluesy pop grooves and ensure you’re suitably hooked by the slide guitars which follow the solos which exhibit Dave Wilbert’s command of a fretboard.

The Fairview, Tennessee-residing artist was born and raised in rural Indiana, where he practised the hard-working virtues extolled in this infectiously feel-good hit, which will undoubtedly give those living the rural life a potent shot of pride.

Tractors and Trucks was officially released on October 6th; add it to your country-rock playlists by heading over to Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Marshall Falcon is the Dr Frankenstein of Rockabilly Revivals in ‘Last Stand @ Little Muddy Creek’

The gloves are off, and the gunpowder is packed in Marshall Falcon’s riotous rockabilly hit, Last Stand @ Little Muddy Creek. The rock-tight rhythmics are enough to make The Meteors sound as fierce as a pebble skipping across a pond, but the raucous exhilarant appeal to the inexplicably pulled-together production is just one facet of magnetism.

Falcon’s infectious personality brings the record to life in a way so visceral that he may as well add the accolade of being the Dr Frankenstein of hillbilly music to his long list of achievements.

Prior to working on his debut solo LP, Go West Young Man, which synthesises Tex-Mex fusion, hillbilly rock explosions and country soul, the Rio Bravo, Mexico-born, Houston-raised artist established some of Houston’s most revered bands in the 90s and filled support slots for everyone from Ice-T to At the Drive In. He has also championed other Houston talent with his award-winning indie music label, Broken Note Records and opened a recording studio in Oregon. It’s safe to say he’s left an ever-lasting impression on the music industry, both through his own work and the work he has supported. When his new sophomore LP drops this fall, don’t be surprised if his legacy starts to know few bounds.

For the full Last Stand @ Little Muddy Creek experience, watch the official music video, which premiered on September 20 via YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Get your recklessly raucous country rock fix with Tracy Inman’s latest single, I’m Drunk Again

When only boozy & bluesy tongue-in-cheek country rock will hit the spot, dig into the latest single, I’m Drunk Again, from the recklessly raucous singer-songwriter Tracy Inman.

From endearing accounts of encounters with bullfrogs to tales of hedonism that make Charles Bukowski sound like a lightweight to sing-along choruses and foot-stompin’ rhythmics, I’m Drunk Again delivers it all in one tidy, polished, and infectiously feel-good package.

Even though the country genre is proliferated with songs about whiskey, the St. Louis-hailing singer-songwriter still managed to pull something original out of the brown paper bag. I can only imagine how well I’m Drunk Again goes down in a live performance in crowded and bleary rooms.

Stream I’m Drunk Again on Spotify, or check out Tracy Inman via his official website.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Skip Seattle and Go to the Ozarks for Your 90s Grunge with Jeremy Phillips’ Latest Single, Crazy

Country and Grunge rarely collide, but when they do, as proven by the latest single, Crazy, from Jeremy Phillips and The Ozark Grunge, evocative firestorms spark in the gruff vocal timbre and southern rock riffs, which will take you higher than a billionaire in space.

With the raucousness scouring the soul in Crazy, the hit is rough around all the right edges, but at its core, it’s a heartfelt release strong enough to pick you up off the floor if you reach to it in your lowest moments.

While the lyrics allude to how love is one of the only acceptable forms of madness, the blazingly tight instrumentals, which will throw you right back to the 90s, sell sludged-up sanctuary. While so many artists are keen to assimilate the Seattle grunge sound, Jeremy Phillips proves the distortion sounds just as sweet in the Ozarks.

Crazy is now available to stream on all major platforms via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Matt Mullins & The Bringdowns harbingered the ‘Beginning of the End’ in their expansively influenced single

Matt Mullins & The Bringdowns may be alt-country at their core, which their single, Beginning of the End, efficaciously signifies but written into the rich tapestry of a single are elements are folk, grunge, psych and new wave indie to create a genre-bending odyssey.

Their stylistic fluidity is one thing; the way they allow emotion to drive the momentum and paint a panoramic portrait of the human psyche and all that defiles and uplifts it is quite another. The Beginning of the End takes a raw and real anxiety for the people prolifically questioning the sustainability of our societies and enraptures the listener away from it all with the unshackling nature of the stellar songwriting.

Beyond the Slash-style soaring guitar solos, the Eddie Vedder-esque gruff vocal timbre, the gangly indie melodies that will appease any fans of the Psychedelic Furs, and the rugged folk elements which reminisce with the tones made iconic by the Levellers lies the true beauty of Matt Mullins & The Bringdowns. For your own sake, experience it for yourselves.

Beginning of the End, along with their latest album, Monarch Sessions, from which it was taken, is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Brandon Bing became the superlative raconteur of country rock gospel in ‘Rat Race’

With one of the most emotive opening guitar melodies we’ve heard in, well, forever, and guitar solos that Slash couldn’t have done better in the middle-eight, which leaves you reaching to crank up the volume, Brandon Bing’s polished country rock vignette of working-class culture in Rat Race is as tenacious as it is electrifying.

It seems somewhat paradoxical to derive so much pleasure from a single which traverses the precariousness of stability for the billions of working-class people trapped in the rat race and numbing themselves by any means necessary, but therein lies the beauty of Brandon Bing as a raconteur of country rock gospel.

It’s a drastic contrast from the last time we heard Bing with his feel-good honkytonk hit, Don’t Bring Your Car to a Rodeo, and while we didn’t dare underestimate his versatility, Rat Race gave us infinitely more than we bargained for with the earworm which starts with an instant hook. Just try telling us he isn’t one of the best contemporary country writers around.

Rat Race was officially released on June 9th; hear it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast