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Whiskey Myers

Early Morning Shakes – 2014 (Wiggy Thump)

Reviewed by Brian Baker

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CDs by Whiskey Myers

Since its formation six years ago, Whiskey Myers has garnered comparisons to the iconic likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers, and those particular yardsticks are hardly unwarranted. The Tyler, Texas quintet more than lived up to the Southern rock hype on the bar band swagger of their indie debut, 2008's "Road of Life," and with the soulful consistency and stylistic diversity of "Firewater," its 2011 sophomore follow-up and debut on its own label imprint, Wiggy Thump.

Like the best of their influences, Whiskey Myers deftly combines disparate musical ingredients - a dash of hard rock, a pinch of country twang, a shake or two of psychedelia, more than a spoonful of R&B and southern soul - into a thick, rich gumbo that simmers nicely until they turn up the heat and all hell boils over.

"Early Morning Shakes," Whiskey Myers' third album, reflects that formula to a turn as the band - ably assisted by producer Dave Cobb, whose work with Jason Isbell and Shooter Jennings represents a similarly broadened palette - injects their original material (and cover of David Allen Coe's "Need a Little Time Off for Bad Behavior") with the power of their foundational heroes with the blustery energy of next generation translators like Drive-By Truckers (the title track) and Kings of Leon ("Where the Sun Don't Shine"). Zeppelinesque stomp-and-shouters "Hard Row to Hoe" and "Headstone" co-exist with slinky Skynyrd rafter dusters "Wild Baby Shake Me" and "Home," but even as Whiskey Myers exhibits their influences, the band skillfully sews them together with a thread that is uniquely it own.