Running the gamut from raucous rockabilly and Merle Haggard-inspired twang to bluegrass death ditties, the Tennessee Rounders' 16-song collection of original tunes showcases true country music with remarkable flair and feeling.
The quartet, consisting of drummer Bryan Goss, stand-up "bass ape" Mike Hagaman, lead guitarist/alternate vocalist Peewee Moore and guitarist/ lead vocalist Channing Wilson, create a rich, atmospheric sound on nearly every tune. If they did nothing else but revive the sounds of early Haggard and the Strangers ("Hardcore Trucker," "Centerline") and Johnny Russell ("Pabst Blue Ribbon"), their sophomore album would be worth hearing.
However, catchy Waylon/Cash styled outlaw music ("Wanted Man"), a rockin' George Jones homage ("Running Moonshine"), Eagles/Creedence Clearwater tinged folk-rock ("Underground Queen") provide the perfect counterpoint to their liberating forays into yelping rockabilly rebellion ("Black Cadillac," "Mean Mean Woman"). The best moments however, come via mandolin-led bluegrass expositions that echo the old Appalachian jealousy and murder tunes ("Nickajack Dam") and satirical folk style protest ("Army Plane").
Not every song is a gem, but each performance sparkles. Whether employing growling electric guitars, freewheeling acoustics, or deft back-up vocals, the Tennessee Rounders sound completely authentic - not to mention spirited - throughout this highly recommended set. (thetennesseerounders.com)