Released by: Big Machine Label Group
Released Date: Out Now!!!
Genre: Southern Rock
Jaren Johnston: Guitar & Lead Vocals
Kelby Ray: Dobro, Acoustic, Lap Steel & Vocals
Neil Mason: Drums, Percussion & Vocals
1. “Bury Me in My Boots”
3. “Drunk Like You”
6. “Party Like You”
7. “Ship Faced”
8. “Soundtrack to a Six Pack”
9. “White Lightning”
10. “The South” (feat. Florida Georgia Line, Dierks Bentley & Mike Eli)
11. “This Accent”
12. “Peace Love & Dixie”
13. “Hot Damn”
14. “Runnin’ Red Lights”
Picture this…it is a cold and snowy December night in Amsterdam, The Paradiso, my venue of choice, has maybe 200 concert goers inside. Why have we braved the ice and wind to get here? To relish the dirty and steamy, southern rumble of rock that is ‘Raging Slab’. A mesmerisingly marvellous set was laid before us, with a free unexpected turn at the vinyl from the band afterwards….something I have never forgotten. This, my friends, was when I fell deeply and passionately in love with southern rock.
Now, fast forward 14 years to The Ramblin Man Fair in Kent, two weeks ago. The Cadillac Three were on the mainstage and they made me feel like I did all those years ago in The Dam. The weather, thankfully, had provided more Deep South than the usual festival deep mud and yes goddamn it, we were all swinging our hips, like hip hip hippies in the sunshine.
Any band that can transport me to Tennessee, wherever I am, is on to a winner in my book, but singer-guitarist Jaren Johnston, lap-steel player Kelby Ray and drummer Neil Mason do so with a definite Dixie ‘je ne sais, hell yeah, quoi’.
Produced by The Cadillac Three with Dann Huff and Justin Niebank, ‘Bury Me in My Boots’ is the follow-up to their self-titled 2012 independent debut and includes favourites such as ‘Peace, Love & Dixie’ and ‘Party Like You’.
The title track ‘Bury Me In My Boots’ slips through your southern country rock soul with Jaren’s liquid gold whisky vocals. Softly acoustic at the beginning, this transcends to a heavier thumping chorus that is uplifting in a way that only these boys know how to do.
‘Slide’ hits you with a party feel ….a good track when you are getting ready for a night on the town? You betcha! With its freight train beat and stonking rhythm guitar ‘Slide’ makes you just want to do that, into the nearest seat of a spit and sawdust bar next to the Mississippi river.
Slower and more thoughtful is ‘Drunk like You’ …but don’t be deceived, this builds nicely to a crescendo with old phaser guitar with a modern twist. If this was a bourbon cocktail it would have the ingredients of soulful country with a rocking knife plunged in the heart.
‘Peace Love & Dixie’ is one of my all-time favourite party tracks, I am afraid I am often shakin my hips to this one in my front room on a Saturday night with my favourite truckers cap on…yes sad I know, but rollicking good fun! And the same can be said of ‘Party Like you’ You guys do have me buzzing like a Miller Lite sign ….. or should that be Old Speckled Hen? More on this later!
At the Ramblin Man Fair this year, only one song almost brought me to tears and that was the superb ‘White Lighting’…in fact listening to this as I write this review I have goose bumps running up and down my arms. The slide guitar and lyrics, are to put it simply, just beautiful and poignant. The muse to this song is Jaren’s wife and what a gift for a husband to give….it certainly beats flowers from a garage!
What can I say? The Cadillac Three make me happy, they make me smile, they make me dance like a loon….they are simply the best modern day country/southern rock outfit. They DO make me shake my hips like a hip hip hippy and buzz like a famous American beer sign. Long may they reign!!!
I interviewed Kelby Ray last year at the Download Festival, he was a jolly good sport, who, I hope he will not mind me saying …just loves his ‘Old Speckled Hen’ ale. This to me just shows how they have taken the UK to their hearts and we thank them for bringing a little Nashville sunshine to us so often! Holler if you’re with me? Yes we are!!
Review: Francijn Suermondt