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Whiskey Myers

Mud – 2016 (Wiggy Thump)

Reviewed by Lee Zimmerman

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CDs by Whiskey Myers

Like Chris Stapleton, Black Stone Cherry and Chris and Rich Robinson, Whiskey Myers finds themselves in the vanguard of alternative country acts who are reviving the grit and glory of classic Southern Rock. Their sound reflects some obvious affection for the hell no, no compromise repast of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet, The Outlaws and other veterans of a time when hailing the glory of Dixie bestowed a certain notoriety. It's retro to be sure, the very definition of the term in fact, but given the tender touch that so many roots rockers seem to adhere to these days, Whiskey Myers' rough and tumble image succeeds in setting them apart.

Of course, it didn't hurt that the group's last album, "Early Morning Shakes," made a decisive impact on the charts soon after its release, and that the new album, "Mud," finds Dave Cobb at the helm. After all, he's the name to know, a producer whose recent tally of hit records (Stapleton's "Traveller") has made him a superstar in his own right. Still, the real secret weapon in the band's arsenal is their sheer bravado, a no-nonsense delivery soaked through with a brash insurgence and a driven, determined sound. That's the essence of songs like "On the River," "Mud" and "Lightening Bugs and Rain," a one-two-three assault that introduces the album and sets the tone for all that follows.

At that point, it would be easy to typecast the band, brand them as Skynyrd wannabes and leave it at that. Happily then, there's more to their approach than simply sizing up a collection of raging rockers. "Trailer We Call Home" is quite a tender ballad, even with its purely rustic references, and "Some of Your Love," courtesy of both its title and chorus, brings to mind Bad Company's "Can't Get Enough of Your Love" in both its spirit and its sound. Still, you have to give these Texans credit for staying true to their purpose. Indeed, "Mud" comes across like a raging rainstorm that drenches the soil and soaks through to the skin.