BWB EP

I’ve been opening my mind to this new style of music they call “Hick-Hop”. I’ve caught myself listening to Charlie Farley and Colt Ford a lot more now. I was recently introduced to come boys out in Alabama that call themselves, The Backwoods Boyz. I listened to a track that featured Charlie Farley so I figured I would give their EP , “Backwoods” a shot.

The group consists of two people, Kenneth Sager and Chris Dasinger. Now a little about these boys,  They started making music June of 2013, but they have been writing music for two to three years. They have a WIDE variety of influences from Charlie Farley to Travis Tritt and even Eminem. I asked them out of curiosity, “Why Hick-Hop?” The response was exactly what I had expected, “Because it relates to our lifestyle and the way we live and also what we love to do.”

With that being said, time to jump into the EP track by track, so here we go.

Backwoods Life – The intro-track to the EP, first minute into this and I’m hearing Charlie Farley, I can already dig this, or so I thought. Ok, so I love the fact that CF is on this track, but something about this track doesn’t hit. Maybe it’s the sound, maybe the cliche lyrics, maybe it’s the simple fact that I can’t really hear the artists. I don’t know, I love the hook to this song, but I’m upset that I can’t really hear main artists.

Creek Bank Chillin’ – Something about this song just turned me off. I don’t know if it was the beat or the lyrics. I just couldn’t get into this song. There were a couple verses that I liked, but overall, I’d skip this song.

Back Home (Remix) – This song was really good. They seem to use the hook from the Florida-Georgia Line song, which has Brian singing, you really can’t go wrong there. I also like the fact that verses flowed together. This was one of those songs that I would jam in my car for sure. Also the fact that Charlie Farley is free styling in the beginning of it makes me a little more biased to it.

Fishing Pole and a Bottle of Shine – A slower paced song, the beat to the song makes me want to move a lot slower than what I should be. I do however like the verses. But, that hook, it’s frustrating. Also, hearing “DJ [insert name here]” is distracting when I’m trying to hear the words. I think that if you sped the song up and got rid of “DJ _____” part, it would be a pretty good song.

For My Outlaws – Wasn’t feeling this song. It’s TOO hip-hop for me.

Lay It Down – Again, much like the previous song, this is just too hip hop for me. They mention trucks, backwoods, mudding, but it just doesn’t do it for me.

My Home – A slower song with a pretty decent beat. Another song that features Charlie Farley, another song that has a really good hook. It’s got that southern feel to it. Definitely a song that I would play at some bonfires.

Listen To Your Heart – Roxette sampled song, I like it. I like the potential this song has. I like beat behind the song. I think the only thing I dislike about this song, it sounds like they are singing in a tunnel. But overall, it’s decent.

So, after listening to this entire EP over and over again, I’ve come to the conclusion that I am on the fence about it. Like I really like the potential. The Backwoods Boys have really good potential to be something in this genre. I think this is a good start for them. In my opinion, there are a few flaws to the EP, but with experience, they will be good. They have a good guy in their corner in Charlie Farley, so I look forward to seeing what they come up with in the future.

6/10 – I like the potential, but again, I’m on the fence about this one.

Stoked for this single to be released because I am a Brantley Gilbert fan, I was on the fence about this cut. It didn’t seem like he had that energy that the song has. As someone stated to me, it’s almost as if he was given this song because of the bad boy persona that he gives off. Now I know people are going to not like hearing this, but I just feel as if Gilbert could have done so much more with this song. I think that he needs to get back to what made him the artist that he is today, genuine heart felt music. One of my favorite songs by Gilbert is off of a record that not many people know about, “Modern Day Prodigal Son”.

I don’t know, here is the single, check it out for yourself. Leave comments below giving me your opinion. Also feel free to read my past blogs. I have some pretty cool reviews coming up, Backwoods Boys and Lenny Cooper’s latest CD’s are going to be next on the review list.

Corey Smith, Colt Ford, Brantley Gilbert and Daniel Lee, what do the four of these artists have in common? The four of them were at one point in their careers all signed to the same record label. Maybe not at the same time, but they were all signed to Average Joe’s Entertainment. Not only that, but they all came from within an 18 mile radius of each other. Now sit and think about that for a second. Corey Smith, who has released seven independent records, Colt Ford, who has released five and is a prominent figure within Average Joe’s Entertainment, Brantley Gilbert who co-wrote the  4x certified platinum hit single, “Dirt Road Anthem”, with Ford, and has had three number one hit singles, and Daniel Lee, who just released his DEBUT CD, “Roots”, all came from the same area. Needless to say, there is something in the water down in the northern part of Georgia.

Daniel Lee Roots1

Now let me shed some light on the last person I mentioned, Daniel Lee. Lee, who is from a little town called Winder, a city within Barrow County, formed a band in 2008. His first gig? Inside of a church that had been rebuilt into a small venue that sat fifty or so people. Influences? Jamey Johnson, The Peach Pickers, and Randy Houser to name a few. This debut CD shows that and much more. Lee wrote or co-wrote 12 of the 13 tracks on the record, Neil Mason (The Cadillac 3), Dan Couch (Something Bout a Truck), and Brantley Gilbert (Dirt Road Anthem) are a few artists that Lee collaborated with among others when making this record. Now let’s dive right into this CD. If you’ve read my reviews in the past, I usually go track by track. I am going to do this same with this review.

Backwoods Tobacco – First song on this record, it’s also the first single by Daniel Lee. If any of you have followed Daniel Lee and The Daniel Lee Band, you would know that this is a re-release of a song that was originally released when Mud Digger 3 came out back in 2012. Still one of my favorite songs released by this band. They also just recently released the music video for this track here:

Georgia Asphalt Road – This is THE ONLY song that was  Lee recorded on this record that was not a write or a co-write. It doesn’t take anything from this CD though. When I first listened to this song, I thought, “Wow, this song speaks volumes. Amazing”. Then I found out who wrote it. Chris Janson, the same guy that wrote, “Truck Yeah” with Tim McGraw. In my honest opinion, this is one of my favorite songs on the record.

For Sale Sign – A slower song, that touches the heart, “There’s a for sale sign, on this heart of mine. You don’t like the price, well that’s alright make an offer and place a bid. I got a for sale sign on this heart of mine I’ll take whatever I can get.” It’s slower, talks of a broken heart that needs healing. But it’s not your typical “heart-break” song. I like it.

Head Over Heels – This song is one that I think would have a lot of potential if it made it to the airwaves. A more up beat song, expressing his feelings towards his love. “I can’t breathe cause you take my breath away, look what I’ve fallen into, I’m head over heels over you”.

A third of the way through this record and I can say with complete honesty, I am not upset about this CD at all. The entire CD is exactly what I thought it was going to be. Lets continue.

Rebel – The fifth track on the CD, and it starts out with some southern guitar riffs that get you tapping your feet and bobbing your head. “Gotta mama’s good looks and her daddy’s bad habits, every little bit of that I gotta have it…”. What Lee describes as a “Rebel” in this song is every southern boy’s dream. She’s one of the boys, but she is a lady. Dig this song for sure.

Struggleville – Now we come to a song that is a personal favorite of mine. A song that’s about being stuck somewhere without knowing how you are going to get out. This is that song that reminds you that things won’t get better until you can get out of the place you are in. Or as the song says, “Things won’t get better atleast until, I can get out of Struggleville.” Co-written with Brantley Gilbert, this song was inspired by a road sign. Lee was actually living in a place called Struggleville, just outside of Statham, Georgia. He says he saw the sign one day and was like, “Oh there you go. There’s a song.”

Hell Yeah – A party anthem song. A song that pretty much describes a part of Lee’s life. I’ve actually been listening to this song for quite some time, so to hear it get put on Lee’s first record, a record titled, “Roots”. It seems fitting.

To Me – So, the album just took a complete turn in the opposite direction as far as the mood goes. You go from, “I never been the type to back down so you better think twice before you run that mouth.” to “You’re only everything that means anything to me.” But, the last time I heard a song like this, it was probably one of the most amazing ballads to NEVER hit mainstream radio. Yet everyone knows it, and everyone loves it. To Me is more than a ballad, it’s a feeling, “Freight train ready to go off at any minute, you’re the track that keeps me in line.” Absolutely LOVE this song.

Redneck Routine – Now, we go from, “You’re only everything that means anything to me.” to “Late nights, bar fights, running from the blue lights, ain’t not telling whats going down….” Redneck Routine has that feel about it. It’s a song that just makes you want to get in the truck, ride around town, and just raise as much hell as you can without getting caught.

No You In Us – I get that, “You don’t want to be here” vibe when I hear this song. It’s powerful to say the least. The lyrics to this song are fantastic. “There can’t be no you and me, when there aint no you in us.” Another song that just makes you wonder why this is Lee’s debut CD. Outstanding.

Complain – “I love to words to Amazing Grace, and I like the way whiskey and sweet tea taste.” One word describes this song. Southern. “I’ve found love, and I’ve found pain, and I’ve got no reason to complain.” And neither do I.

Slowdown Town – A song pinned with Dan Couch, who helped write “Something Bout A Truck”. A song that takes me back to my hometown, where nothing fast happens around there. Any song that takes me back to my hometown is a good song in my eyes.

Love It All – Another feel good song. When I hear this song, I can picture myself cruising down the road, heading to the beach. This is one of those songs that you can just cruise to. I found myself keeping this song on repeat.

As you can tell, I absolutely love this album. It has that perfect blend of ballads and upbeat songs. It’s not your typical “country” album either, but then again, like Lee says himself, “It’s not Country, It’s not Rock, It’s Southern.” And he is dead on about that. If you have a chance, go out, get the record. I promise you, you will not regret it.

Daniel Lee has teamed up with Adventure Bags Inc to help celebrate his CD release with a CD release party at Wild Bills in Duluth, Georgia on Aug, 2nd.  Go to http://www.AdventureBags.org, see what they need, and just simply bring it. There will be a bin at the door for you to drop off your item, it’s as simple as that. There’s nothing more heartwarming than knowing that you just made a child smile that you have never seen before.

Rating: It’s rare that I give a CD a perfect rating. For the simple reason that something can ALWAYS be better, but this album, it’s perfect. I rate this a 10/10. This is a must have record.

 
Purchase “Roots” on iTunes here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/roots/id892517868

Facebook: The Daniel Lee Band

 

BG

Fresh off his album release, Brantley Gilbert is tearing up the country with his “Let It Ride” tour. I got the chance to make it out to one of his shows, specifically the show in Richmond, Va. Let me start of by saying, I’ve seen Brantley Gilbert play at least 5 times prior to going to this show, and I admit that I was a bit skeptical about going because of my opinion about the “Just As I Am” record, with that being said, this is going to be my review about his live show performance.

The crowd was beginning to get restless when the video introduction started, Brantley Gilbert sitting on a bike, looking in the opposite direction of the camera. Next angle you see him looking at the camera with his hat down, one finger over his lip, simply “Shhshing” the crowd. He steps off his bike, removes two guns from their holsters and places them on a table along with some brass knuckles, then removes his jacket. The next couple of shots it shows his band members, then it cuts to all of them with Gilbert himself screaming “BG Nation”. This is where I figured the curtain would drop and the show would get started, nope, wrong. It turns to a hardcore bass thumping video of him and his band, walking. For another minute, I watched this introduction, until FINALLY, the video cuts off, and a light shines on the curtain. A silhouette of Gilbert standing there, the crowd goes insane, and BOOM, it drops and you hear the first couple of riffs of “Kickin It In The Sticks”.

“Welcome to the home of the hillbilly….” then it becomes a little inaudible, “…Barbed wire, moonshine, whiskey”, you can really tell that the “growl” that everyone loves about “BG” is starting to effect his overall singing. And that was pointed out to me, I didn’t catch it at first myself. It kind of shocked me that he started his show off with this song. I’m used to this being one of the “middle of the show, get the crowd pumped” songs, man was I wrong. The crowd was rocking, the band was killing it on stage, although something about the band as a whole was different (more on that in a little bit), it seemed to start off being a good show, aside from the “growl” of his voice.

A quarter of the way through the show Gilbert plays his first song off of the new record, “My Baby’s Guns And Roses”. I witnessed a number of people singing and dancing to the song. I was happy to see that seeing as the record just dropped last month. “Guns and Roses” ends and you hear those famous words BG always says right before he plays the #1 hit “Dirt Road Anthem”, “What chyall know bout them dirt roads?” The crowd erupts and the band starts to play DRA. You hear a couple of people saying, “Oh he’s playing another Jason Aldean song!?” Those are the people that you have to ignore, the ones that really just…..do not know.

About halfway through the show, the pace slows down. Gilbert speaks to the crowd about having that one girl, that one love that you just can’t let go. The one that your friends just don’t understand because they don’t know her like you do. And this of course leads into the hit song “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do”. I love hearing this song live to begin with, but just when I thought the song was over with, he breaks into that last part, that’s not on the radio but is on the “Halfway to Heaven: Deluxe Edition”. “Not like I do, never understands, that girl’s my best friend, THAT GIRL’S MY BEST FRIEEENN….” and he loses it. You can almost see the disappointment in his face when he was unable to hit that note. But, that silent moment when he sings that part, golden. Thank you Mike Dekle for that.

And now we get to the moment of the show that just about sealed it for me. He talks to the crowd about how people have been wanting him to play more of his older stuff. Gilbert gets a stool, sits on it, and plays a mashup of songs off of the “Modern Day Prodigal Son” record. I just about had a heart attack. This is and was the most memorable part about the show. It sealed the deal for me. Playing, “Whenever We’re Alone”, “Picture On The Dashboard”, and “Best Of Me”, he could have done covers from other artists after that and I wouldn’t have cared. He didn’t however, he finished the night off with hit songs off of all three records and did an encore of his first #1 “Country Must Be Country Wide”

Patrick Stevens and Brantley Gilbert.  Photo Courtesy of Joshua Timmermans of Taste Of Country

Patrick Stevens and Brantley Gilbert.
Photo Courtesy of Joshua Timmermans of Taste Of Country

Now going back to that “thing” that seemed different about the band, someone was missing. Actually, two people were missing from when I last saw BG back in 2012. John Merlino was missing, but it was announced that he left the band earlier for personal reasons. He was replaced by Noah Henson earlier in the tour, but Jess Franklin was not present on stage. Prior to this show, he decided to take some time off for personal reasons and this is where I mention my good friend, Patrick Stevens. If you have ever read my blogs prior to this post, you would know that Patrick Stevens used to be in a band that I write about frequently on here, The Daniel Lee Band. Seeing Patrick killing solos on stage with Brantley Gilbert, it was pretty awesome. The chemistry he had on stage with everyone, including Gilbert, it was almost as if he had been with the band for a while. It was definitely one of the things that made me enjoy the show more.  This and the acoustic medley of the show, it did me in. Of course, I am going to be a bit biased considering I am friends with someone who is in the band (temporarily), and the fact that I would much rather listen to someone play an all acoustic show than a full band show ANY day of the week. With all of that being said, go see this show on tour. It’s a good one. While yes the tickets are a bit expensive, my first BG show I saw him for $17, got pictures and autographs WITHOUT having to buy a membership to a fan club OR buy some over the top, ginormous flag that costs more than a trip to the ER (with insurance).

Rating – 8/10, the straining on his voice seems to be taking a toll on him as a whole, but that acoustic medley made up for it.

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Ever since my trip to Pendergrass, Ga back in 2012, I have always said that there is something magical about the state Georgia. Whether it’s the way the rain cools you down on a hot summer night, or the feel of that red Georgia clay underneath your feet as you stomp to the beat of some of the best music to hit the scene today, there is something pretty amazing going on in the state of Georgia. Speaking of the Georgia Red Clay, I got a chance to get my hands on the EP “Dig In” from the band Georgia Red Clay, and that is just what I did.

First thing I said to myself when I heard the first few riffs of “Don’t Tread On Me”, “Damn, this has that southern rock feel to it, not what I was expecting at all. I can “dig” this.” Then the lead vocals of Brian Warner started playing in my ears. “Don’t tread on me. Just let me be. I believe what I believe.” Now, for those that have yet to hear GRC, Warner sings this song with a growl, or what sounds like a growl to me. At first, I was skeptical, but as I listened to the song, I realized that this song wouldn’t be the same if it didn’t have that edgy feel to it. Every now and again, I hear myself singing it as it’s stuck in my head. Now anyone who knows anything knows that when a song gets stuck in your head, its catchy, and that is exactly what this song is, catchy.

On to the next track that I listened to, “Goin Down”, immediately started tapping my foot to the beat of the drum, and I just started listening to it. Not intensively because I had other things going on, phones ringing and just every day life happening around me. Then something happened, a line at the very end, the last eighteen seconds of the song, caught my attention.I immediately stopped what I was doing, hit rewind, and listened to that line one more time, “Better think before you act so you don’t fall when you could have flown, we only get one time go round on earth before we’re done, if you think the answer’s in that bottle drink it down, even though your feet maybe dry on land, you’ll surely drown….” It just made me think. It literally made me stop doing everything what I was doing. Amazing line.

“Next Time” brings it down a notch, slows the pace, talks about how how things haven’t always been easy, but it they will get better in time. I like this song. I like the concept of it, but in all honesty, something felt like it was missing. It almost felt like the lyrics were more generic. “I’m living my life, made mistakes and that’s alright, I’ll just do it better next time.”

“Why Girl”, I think as men, we ask ourselves this question on a daily basis. The song is another one of those songs that will have you tapping your foot as soon as it starts. It repeatedly asks the question, “Why girl Why”. and I repeatedly ask the same. I like this song, it’s simple, but it keeps tapping your foot.

The last song on the EP, “Southern Born and Bred”, tells us about a girl who has all of those qualities of them down home southern girls. It’s got that real southern rock vibe to it, just like much of the EP. It’s a nice guitar solo right there towards the end of the song. I feel like it’s a good song, great potential, but it needs to grab that next gear.

As a whole, I like the concept of the entire EP, from “Don’t Tread On Me” to “Southern Born and Bred”, I do however feel like it’s missing that next gear. There is potential, it’s just a matter of digging deeper to find it. Out of the entire EP, “Goin Down” was probably my favorite song on here.  It has that feel to it, and I’m still amazed by that line, ” ..if you think the answer’s in that bottle drink it down, even though your feet maybe dry on land, you’ll surely drown…”

This was my first time listening to GRC, and while I’m not blown away, I’m not disappointed either. I want to hear more from them as they grow as a band. I think there is something there, it just has to be found. I’d give it a 6/10 because in my opinion, the lyrics are more generic for my liking, but the music was pretty decent. I’m not saying to write them off by any means. I’m saying, keep an eye on them, because there is something there, and as a band, I don’t think they have discovered it yet themselves.

To learn more about GRC check them out of Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/Georgia.Red.Clay

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A little over a year ago, a video was posted on YouTube giving tribute to the late great George Jones. It was Tony Jackson and Jeff Ward Richardson and a few others covering, “The Grand Tour”.  Fast forward a year later and here we are, the video is sitting at 32K views and Jackson Ward is releasing their first single “I’m All In”. 

Watch the Tribute to George Jones here

I first heard this song live, and when I did, I had mixed emotions. I didn’t know if it was the fact that I couldn’t hear the words clear, or if I just didn’t like the song, but after listening to the single, it’s pretty catchy and a good vibe song. I feel my head bobbing with the music, hearing that steel guitar in the back ground takes me back to a special time in my life and the addition of the fiddle just adds to that classic country feel. The song takes me back to the beach, throwing corn hole, just simply hanging out with good friends having a good time. That’s what good country music is supposed to do to you right? This single is right up there with some of my favorites. The good vibes I get from it and the overall tempo of it, it’s a good one. If this is the kind of stuff Jackson Ward is recording, I can’t wait to hear more from them. 

You are able to purchase the single here https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/jackson-ward-im-all-in. You can also support JW on this site by donating just $5 all the way up to $1250. Each donation gives you certain “perks”. For example, for $25 it gives you early access to the single, and they will give you insight into the reason behind the song, and….wait for it…..a mid-air chest bump, ON SIGHT! Another one that I thought was pretty cool, for $500 you can get a shoutout on their FB page (linked at the bottom), the single “I’m All In”, a t-shirt, the actual “Goodbye Trouble” EP (two weeks early), and your name will be included in the CD jacket. Be on the lookout for the full EP release on July 15th, and make sure you go to the Jackson Ward Facebook page and give it a “Like”. 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jacksonwardmusic

Mud-Digger-5

C-Rap, Country-Rap, Hick-Hop, call it what you want, but it’s still music, and it still tells a story. Moonshine Bandits of Average Joe’s Entertainment are doing just that, having just released a single that is featured on the newly released Mud Digger 5 record titled, “Too Easy”. It features label mate Daniel Lee singing the hook of the song. I got a chance to sit down and actually listen to the lyrics of the song this morning, and the first thing that came to my mind was the fact that this song had that “in your face, how do you like me now” feel. I’d have to say, the line that stuck out the most to me was, “And every record exec that kept telling me no, I got that middle finger in the air swinging out the window. So grab your genre, and you can label me this, tatted up hell raiser/outlaw…”

The overall feel of the song was outstanding, then adding Daniel Lee to the hook was just an extra bonus. Daniel has been featured on the last three Mud Digger albums with tracks titled, “Backwoods Tobacco”, “Headed South” and now this song with the Moonshine Bandits, he has also been featured in the “Backwoods Boys” track with Charlie Farley and it has been just announced that Daniel Lee will be featured on Colt Ford’s next record, “Thanks For Listening” that comes out July 1st. Lee also has his own debut album out 7/22/14.

This song, it made my jaw drop because of how raw and true it was. I’ve only listened to a few Moonshine Bandits songs, and truth be told, before I was introduced to Charlie Farley, I wasn’t big into the Hick-Hop side of the country genre, but this song, it just gave me a whole new perspective. It tells me that every artist, no matter if its opera to country-rap, has a story to tell. Be sure to check out this song and the rest of the Mud Digger 5 album. Order it on iTunes, Amazon, or purchase in stores now.

Pre-Order Roots (Daniel Lee’s debut CD) –  http://danielleeofficial.com/roots–2
Buy Mud Digger 5 on iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/mud-digger-5/id868353287?ign-mpt=uo%3D4