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Old News is the second album from Nashville-based band, The Steel Woods. It follows their debut release Straw In The Wind. With band members Wes Bayliss (vocals, guitar), Jason Rowdy Cope (guitar) Jay Tooke (drums, vocals) and Johnny Stanton (bass) in top form they have another impressive record on their hands. Recorded in Nashville and Asheville the band, seamlessly combine country, southern rock and blues.
Among the positives on the 15 track record they find time to pay tribute to Townes Van Zandt, Tom Petty, The Allman Brothers and Merle Haggard. Their covers aren’t just casual copies of the originals, but well worked versions identifiable to them only. The Steel Woods are very much a southern band, and with the likes of Hank Williams Jnr coming to mind far more country than him theses latter years, and Lynyrd Skynrd too come on this entertaining set of work. One set to enjoy the tipping the hat of many a Southern Rock and country devotee that enjoys their music to possess an earthy bite and music that’s real.
Highlights include, the brooding title track Old News, One Of These Days (warmed in cryin’ lap steel guitar) and the excellent Compared To A Soul. While on releasing much passion All Of These Years is another to produce a sound most palatable. It doesn’t stop there either. Sine Anna Lee with it’s fine acoustic guitar picking to go with the keener southern rock cum country leanings it’s a genuine gem. Without You Is Another is straight down the middle honest as they come numbers Southern steeped numbers. Of the covers I must hand their superb handling of Haggard’s Are The Good Times Really Over ( I Wish A Buck Was Still Silver) my vote; as the boys with lots of steel guitar to the fore do the Hag justice. Country fans will love it, and given half a listen a host more since The Steel Woods are far from been a straight ahead heavy Southern rock outfit as reported in Rolling Stone magazine. Because this band is creating a whole new fresh sound. Closely related to Haggard’s song, lyrically. With the impressive Bayliss outstanding on lead vocals, the boys speak of troubles of the day (and) as they ask people to do some earnest soul searching on the title cut Old News.
Southern Accents is primed in electric lead guitar. Solos included as they put the foot down and hit the metal strongly. Likewise, Townes Van Zandt’s blues stained original version of The Catfish Song enjoys some stinging lead guitar, and on straddling idioms The Rock That Says My Name a superbly crafted pieces a great many would love to claim as their own. Play often.
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