We’re only just into the first few weeks of 2015, but already I think I’ve just found the first of my top ten albums of the year!!
Whiskey Myers is one of those groups you hope and wait will come along one day and then when they do, they proceed to totally blow your socks off. Their musical style is so chilled to the bone, yet it’s as hot as a habanero chili. The stories they tell within the songs are of pain, love, hardship and jubilation, and can make you instantly visualize where the guys are coming from. Centuries ago this was how we passed on history to our children, well these chaps aren’t passing on history, but they sure as hell are making it!! A band of true southern state good old ‘young’ boys, writing and playing songs that are coming straight from the heart and soul.
In 2008 they released their first full debut album, Road Of Life after being signed up with Smith Entertainment. It took them a while, but their second album Firewater was eventually released in 2011, and was recorded at Panhandle House Studios, Denton, Texas. They also used their own Wiggy Thump label with this, and they managed to get into the top thirty on the “Country Albums” chart list. Their third single “Anna Marie” reached number one in the Texas Music Charts. With already a pretty impressive back catalogue of songs that have been built up by a band, surprisingly they’re still not widely know outside of the States. But fingers crossed this is about to change.
Now we have the new album ‘Early Morning Shakes ‘ to look forward to and it will be officially released in the U.K. on March 23rd. They’ve put together what I’d describe as an album a bit like a story book of life, and we’re going to start off with ‘Ballard Of A Southern Man ‘. This song is telling a tale of growing up in the slammer, and trying to make the most of what life trys to throw at you. A very mellow ballad played out in a simple acoustic set, using just traditional instruments that will have you reaching for a cold one while sinking back into you favorite chair letting the music wash over you. Next we listen to ‘Colloquy ‘ it is a melancholy tale of life’s hardships, looking back over the years and contemplating what fate might lay ahead. This particular song has some stunning guitar work, both slide guitar and a traditional electric combination that should raise your neck hairs when you hear it. Mixed in are piano chords and this is combined with what sounds like a full string orchestra, absolutely beautiful and the music alone should bring a tear to your eye.
Title song ‘Early Morning Shakes‘ has that semi-slow tempo beat that conjures up visions of a guy waking up in a bar, and covered in sweat after a heavy night on the whiskey. Everything about this track is a master class in how to make a rhythm and blues song not just a ‘song’, but a killer song! The harmonica riffs are played by a guy who you can hear really has a feel for the song, not just plays it. Meanwhile the vocals are simply pure golden-honey dripping over the lead, bass and rhythm guitars, and with backing vocals that sound like a blues rock gospel choir just entered the room.
Think I’d better go have a cold shower now!
Moving swiftly on, ‘Need A little Time Off For Bad Behavior ’ this track is a degree up-tempo. A smooth foot tapping yarn about a guy who works hard all week, toes the line and looks after his women. When I hear this song played I just think back to the bar scenes you’d see in Clint Eastwood film! A winning tune over flowing with that original Texas twang that typify’s the warmth of the southern hospitality, with riffs and licks in abundance coupled again with some brilliant vocals and backing singers. The whole song just leaves you with a warm glow.
‘Virginia ‘ tells you the story of a broken heart and a love lost. There are so many deep meanings threaded into this new album that I just recommend the best thing for you to do is just buy it, get it home and play the hell out of it!!
Whiskey Myers have surpassed themselves with this third album. If they can top this again, my god it’ll be something to look forward too.
Cody Cannon – Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
Cody Tate – Lead Guitar, Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
John Jeffers – Rhythm & Lead Guitar, Vocals
Gary Brown – Bass
Jeff Hogg– Drums
Early Morning Shakes
Hard Row To Hoe
Shelter From The Rain
Where The Sun Don’t Shine
Wild Baby Shake Me
Need A Little Time Off For Bad Behavior
Ballard Of A Southern Man ( acoustic )
Record Label: Spinefarm Records