*Originally posted April 26, 2011*
I have been excited for today for a while now, because it was the release date for not one, but TWO albums that I had been anticipating for quite some time. Both of the bands are in my top 10 (maybe even top 5, depending on my day). They are Whiskey Myers and Steve Earle. I've been a huge fan of Whiskey Myers since their first album came out and I've been long awaiting the second one. As you know, I have always been obsessed with Steve Earle and this is his first album in a few years, but one of many in the past 30 or so.
My sister and I usually divvy up who is going to buy music and then we trade songs, so it was a toss up which one I wanted to hear first, but I went with Whiskey Myers' Firewater and she is supposed to be buying I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive.
I have made so many memories to Whiskey Myers' original album, Road of Life. I have become a huge fan of them, and although I haven't gotten to see them live yet, they are on my list! They fit the bill of everything I love in a band. From song to song you are carried through their musical variety from slow and smooth ballads to jam sessions that sound like they were just rocking out in their garage and happened to have a recorder handy. They touch on every genre of music I love: southern, classic rock; country; blues.
When a band's freshman album blows me away, I get nervous about the release of a sophomore album. I am always worried that they set the bar too high the first time around. However, this was not the case with WM.
The fact that the album was produced by ex-Shooter Jennings (another favorite of mine) guitarist and songwriter, Leroy Powell, I knew it was going to be hot. Country Music News International describes Firewater as:
"Distinctly Southern Rock-oriented, yet inventive enough to incorporate
the band's heart-on-their sleeve Country and Blues influences."
The five-piece band, with twin guitars wowed me again with their spicy blend of music. To say I am obsessed with this album is an understatement. I can't get enough. From their single and first track on the album, Bar, Guitar and a Honky Tonk Crowd, I have been hooked. It then leads into another jammer then a more country ballad that is sure to pick a bone with anyone with southern pride. The next track, Calm Before the Storm is one of my favorites because it reminds me so much of Lynyrd Skynyrd, especially Free Bird. I love the mix of county tunes, the bluesy ballads, like Broken Window Serenade and full out rock songs like Turn It Up, and one that really sings to my soul, Different Mold. And to top it off, How Far sounds like something that would have been on my Woodstock playlist back in summer 2009 when I had a mild obsession with Jimi Hendrix and The Who. (Yeah, I just compared one band to Lynyrd Sykyrd and Jimi Hendrix, they are that good.) Song for You, in it's acoustic style and record-player crackle reminds me of the great Ryan Adams.
I think this quote from CMNI from lead singer Cody Cannon sums up everything I could say about them in far fewer words:
“We know people are going to compare our sound to bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, and that’s fine, we take that as a high compliment. But when they hear this new record, they’re gonna find out that there’s a whole lot more to this band. We love Country music, we love Rock, we love Blues – we just love to jam, period. It doesn’t matter to us where the music comes from, it just matters that it’s real.”