Nashville trio The Cadillac Three are one such band. They’re country with a hard, Southern rock edge.
This is their sixth album – two made the UK Top 30 – and their sound, which they call “country fuzz”, is maturing like a fine bourbon.
Biographical opener Young & Hungry is instantly addictive. “She was pretty, so pretty, and I was in a band,” rasps singer and guitarist Jaren Johnston.
“She stole my heart, I stole a pawn shop ring, put it right on her hand.” It’s the catchiest they have ever sounded, and the most soulful. As the album title suggests, the trio are getting introspective and reflective with age – more musically expansive too.
Sure, songs like Double Wide Grave, mid-paced and powered by a tough rock riff, are as gritty as you’d expect.
But Comin’ Down From You is fast and loose, surging along with an insistence that defies feet not to tap. Jaren has come down from booze and pot but admits, “There’s no comin’ down from you.”
Prowling rocker The Worst has synthesised drumming and an element of self-doubt. “I see the devil in your eyes,” he sings. “Or is it my reflection?
Beautiful ballad Love Like War reminds you that Johnston has co-written 10 US country No 1s.
Dressed Up To Die is powered by bravado. The protagonist is “rolling, driving life like it’s stolen” and ready for death: “If it goes down tonight, I’m prepared to see the good Lord smile…”
The tourniquet-tight band have clearly lived the hillbilly life they sing about, pills and corn mash whiskey included.
Mercifully, rock glory is more likely to await them than a shallow Tennessee grave.
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