On August fifth The Cadillac Three released their much awaited second album, Bury Me in My Boots, on Big Machine Records out of Nashville, Tennessee. Where else would the pioneers of country fuzz record? Singer/songwriter Jaren Johnston doesn’t have the name of that great city tattooed on his forearm for nothing, you know. This is a band who wear their roots literally on their sleeve.
Bury Me in my Boots is a fourteen track album, which is quite long but there’s a lot on it that fans of the band will recognise. Peace, Love and Dixie, Hot Damn and Party Like You from last year’s Peace, Love and Dixie EP all make an appearance, as well as re-workings of White Lightning and The South from debut album Tennessee Mojo. Which leaves nine brand new tracks to enjoy.
Album opener and title track Bury Me in my Boots sets out their stall pretty well. What you can always expect from TC3 is songs about the South, whiskey and women and this track covers all the bases. It’s a far less depressing track than the title suggests, with Neil Mason’s drums banging out a tattoo for Jaren’s vocal and Kelby Ray’s lap steel to build around. Slide is a much faster track, with Southern rock Blackberry Smoke stylings. It moves along at 100mph, more than enough to get the toes of your cowboy boots tapping.
Drunk Like You is next, and is also the current single. It’s a 180 degree flip from Slide, taking the pace way down, but continuing the women and whiskey theme. “Nothin’ gets me drunk like you, even whiskey can’t do what you do.” I saw the band at the start of the year and I’ve never seen more drink consumed on stage in my life. It caused a couple of delays to the show as Johnston strapped on the wrong guitar more than once, but to be honest I was impressed he was even still upright. Whoever the girl is that gets him drunker than all that whiskey, she must be something very special indeed.
Next up is the first single from the album, Graffiti. It’s a catchy wee melody, one that’s bound to go down very well live. It’s followed by Buzzin’, which while it sounds different is basically the same song as Drunk Like You. “Sure feels like I’m getting tipsy tonight, you got me buzzin’.”
Party Like You was my favourite track from the Peace, Love and Dixie EP and I’m glad to see it take its place on the album. It’s the perfect party song, impossible not to move to, a great sing-a-long track and always gets the crowd going at a gig. Ship Faced is a track with a slow, sun-drenched groove and really shows off the cleverness of Jaren Johnston as a song writer, telling the story of a drunken time on a rented boat. It’s not a typo either, ship faced is comparable to shit faced but is a term all of its own, made clear by the hard pop at the end of the word throughout the song.
Soundtrack to a Six Pack unsurprisingly has nothing to do with working on your abs but instead continues the homage to all things alcoholic. Since I’ve made several mentions of the band’s dedication to all things alcoholic it’s only fair they have their own say. The title of the song was how a friend of the band reviewed one of their gigs and they’ve certainly taken it to heart.
White Lightning is probably the band’s most successful song to date, and understandably so. It appeared on Tennessee Mojo, then a live version was on Peace, Love and Dixie and it appears here again with a slightly re-worked arrangement. It’s a brilliant track, summing up everything this band is about. Big country fuzz sound, Johnston’s Southern drawl sounding like he just woke up, and a sing-a-long chorus that makes it a standout every time it’s performed live all go to make it a perfect track.
The South is fast becoming The Cadillac Three’s anthem. Nothing is more important to them than their roots and this homage to “Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Carolina,” featuring Florida Georgia Line, Dierks Bentley and Mike Eli gives a real sense of the sultry heat and dust of the Southern states. When the chorus line of “this is where I was born and this is where I will die” fades out you get a real understanding. If The Cadillac Three had been from the frozen North or the cosmopolitan East coast of New York they simply would not exist.
The Southern theme continues in This Accent. The Southern accent is, “as thick as the whiskey running through my veins.” Peace, Love and Dixie follows on, with amazing low lap steel work from Kelby Ray that renders a bass player completely redundant. That’s followed by Hot Damn, familiar from the Peace, Love and Dixie EP, before album closer Runnin’ Red Lights. It’s a very low key end to the album, a quiet tale about getting home as fast as possible, something the band must think about a lot considering the insane tour schedule they have.
Bury Me in my Boots is a good album, with a lot of excellent individual tracks, but with fourteen songs I feel it runs a bit long. I’m not sure all the previously released tracks needed to be included. As good as they are they’re available elsewhere and feel a bit like padding here. That said there are some great new songs here too, including my recommended track, current single Drunk Like You.
- Bury Me in my Boots
- Drunk Like You
- Party Like You
- Ship Faced
- Soundtrack to a Six Pack
- White Lightning
- The South (feat. Florida Georgia Line, Dierks Bentley and Mike Eli)
- This Accent
- Peace Love and Dixie
- Hot Damn
- Runnin’ Red Lights