Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown — Shake The Roots (Rattle Shake Records)
In the congested and occasionally confusing outlaw country/Americana/Southern rock arena, there’s never been a better time for bluesy brawler Tyler Bryant to shake his roots.
Faced with a barrage of faux heritage, manufactured authenticity and lame legacies, fans of all three genres crave reality and seek the truth.
Whatever that truth might be.
On the face of it, a crossover artist like Bryant faces the toughest challenge of all.
There’s no permanent home for this creative nomad’s increasingly expansive back catalogue.
And high-profile support slots with some of the biggest bands in the world (AC/DC, Guns N Roses, Aerosmith et al) have only served to fuel the misconception that Bryant’s some kind of privileged Johnny Come Lately playing at being a classic rock behemoth.
Shake The Roots is his thunderous, unrepentant response.
Five albums in and Bryant’s dialled down the swagger to hit his stride.
Self-produced, self-released and self-aware, Shake The Roots is intensely personal.
It’s driven by a desire to be real, to do things right and to reflect upon a roundabout journey towards rock and roll redemption.
There’s an overriding sense of freedom and an addictively febrile approach to songwriting.
Bryant and band mates Caleb Crosby and Graham Whitford perform with fire in their bellies and joy in their souls.
Shake The Roots is a timely celebration of substance over style.
It’s an ode to tradition and a tribute to core values.
Bryant’s gone back to the future and revealed his destiny: to make music from the heart and speak the simplest of truths.
Why Bryant’s pulling up trees on Shake The Roots
On Hard Learned, Bryant admits ‘I took the long way round like you knew I’d do’.
That introspective lyric says it all about Shake The Roots.
You see, a remarkable record is the realisation of The Shakedown’s decade-long pursuit of perfection.
The band’s self-titled Snakefarm debut and follow-ups Truth And Lies and Pressure all hinted at serious potential.
And all three records justifiably muscled their way onto the Rushonrock playlist — each new album a powerful statement of future intent.
But Shake The Roots has raised the bar.
It’s a different level and a different animal.
It’s impossible to listen to Roots without believing these boys mean what they say and say what they mean.
Ghostrider is gut-wrenching garage rock par excellence.
Off The Rails sounds like The Wildhearts sipping Bourbon.
And there’s more than a hint of classic Georgia Satellites on the swooning, heartfelt Tennessee.
Bryant and co. don’t push too hard or blur the lines.
Theirs is a reassuring brand of off-the-cuff, bar room, rootsy rock.
‘It ain’t all country/we’ve got rock and roll’ insists Bryant on the dreamy Tennessee as if to wrap a welcoming arm around allcomers.
This a record for all and a record for the ages.
Shake The Roots will shake things up. At last.