It’s been around 10 months since Whiskey Myers embarked on a UK tour; the previous one in support of The Cadillac Three.
Despite a huge dedicated following, and a fairly extensive catalogue, Whiskey Myers seems yet to achieve similar levels of success as some of their contemporaries. Their latest effort ‘Mud’ was released in September, garnering rave reviews things are looking promising for the now seven piece.
Ruby Lounge, Manchester UK had the honour of staging Whiskey Myers’ performance for the evening. A well laid out venue with the authentic feel of a true rock venue, an ideal setting to compliment their brand of bonafide southern rock n roll.
Opening the proceedings was ‘Early Morning Shakes’, a track that perfectly demonstrates just exactly what Whiskey Myers are about stylistically. With its laid back groove, harmonica lined with a heavy dosage of bluesy riffs throughout it was a perfect way to ease everyone in.
‘On The River’ taken from ‘Mud’, a track that epitomises the traditional southern country music perfectly with the inclusion of a fiddle, a galloping rhythm and the familiar swampy feel.
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Whiskey Myers have mastered what they do down to a tee. Many of their songs show a deep level of catharsis yet manifest the content amongst such a groove that it can sometimes mask the underlining message. A prime example is ‘Dogwood’; it’s one of those songs instantly recognisable that from the opening note. From the get go it was inevitable a huge sing-a-long would ensue with most, if not all in attendance singing a long to arguably one of their more chart worthy tracks.
Never one to stick to conventions, the band manipulated both their more rock leaning tracks with their stripped bare ballads amongst one another to ensure there was something for everyone.
There’s no denying that what Whiskey Myers have is special, being able to simultaneously have their proverbial fingers in many pies; to be accepted by hard rock, country fans and everyone inbetween. From the straight up hard rocking ‘Headstone’ to the tales of misfortune and sorrow in the downtrodden ‘Broken Window Serenade’ and the home-grown narrative of ‘Trailer We Call Home’ there’s characteristics fans can deconstruct and relate to.
Towards the mid section, interestingly the band chose to cover ‘Seven Nation Army’; perhaps not the most obvious choice for such an authentic southern rock band. However this wasn’t just ‘Seven Nation Army’, this was Whiskey Myers’ interpretation. Adding their southern brand of country rock to the mix with they keys playing a lead role in the track adding to a more full bodied version with an extended instrumental jam session featuring a harmonica solo by frontman Cody Cannon.
The band by this point were pulling out all the aces, delivering a healthy balance of old and new keeping a fresh flow throughout the set.
Perhaps their most recognised song to date, ‘Ballad Of A Southern Man’ signified the beginning of the end. A song perfectly representative of who Whiskey Myers are; genuine and emotive with song writing abilities that put the band as worthy contenders alongside Blackberry Smoke to take over after Skynyrd and Allman Brothers.
One thing apparent is the musicianship between the seven members is second to none. Having started off as a fivesome then officially adding members Jon Knudson & Tony Kent to the fold on a permanent basis, the band have had substantial time to gel together as a unit and it shows. Known for their extended, prolonged bluesy solos and wandering jam sessions, headlining their own shows allows them to take the ball and run with it, so to speak, with all members contributing to the magic.
Having toured extensively since their formation, namely the US, the band are finally getting the recognition they rightfully deserve. The current tour having sold out is a significant indication that the UK could be their new home away from home. It was recently announced the band are set to return to these shores in May 2017 with most venues double the sizes of the ones on the current tour, so we don’t have too long to wait for some real southern rock n roll!
Early Morning Shakes
Bar, Guitar & A Honky Tonk Crowd
On The River
Broken Window Serenade
Lightning Bugs & Rain
Seven Nation Army (White Stripes cover)
Trailer We Call Home
Wild Baby Shake Me
Ballad Of A Southern Man