Whiskey Myers – Whiskey Myers (Snakefarm)
Five albums in and Whiskey Myers sense it’s time to release the fabled self-titled album. It’s taken the Texans 12 years to perfectly nail their expansive sound but this 14-track showcase of country, Southern rock and dirty blues does them proud: imagine a Greatest Hits of gutsy originals.
Opener Die Rockin’ – a buoyant co-write courtesy of Cody Cannon and Ray Wylie Hubbard – is what Whiskey Myers are all about. Authenticity and an all-consuming passion underpin a stirring statement of intent from a band that’s been hovering on the fringes of widespread critical and commercial acclaim for far too long.
Having seen former label mates and country rock brethren The Cadillac Three carve out the lion’s share of a receptive UK audience in recent years, it’s time for Cannon and his band mates to come out all guns blazing.
And the breadth – and depth – of the material here smacks of a now-or-never approach to what could and should be Whiskey Myers’ career-defining album.
Rolling Stone’s harmonica-infused, retro-fuelled refrain works wonderfully. The mandolin at the heart of Bury My Bones ushers in a Southern rock treat that wouldn’t sound out of place buried deep within Skynyrd’s 70s back catalogue. But The Band Perry might notice something vaguely familiar about If I Die Young’s rockier little brother…
The drum sound driving Glitter Ain’t Gold demands bass levels are turned up to 11 but there’s more to this mid-set highlight than a pounding rhythm. The addition of gospel-influenced vocal melodies elevates a standout song to another level.
Sumptuous slide guitar gives California To Caroline a cheeky kick up the ass and meandering set closer Bad Weather (think The Temperance Movement with a Southern drawl) provides a storming finale. After a few false starts the forecast is overwhelmingly positive.