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Robbie Walden Band

When the Rooster Crows – 2019 ( Self-released)

Reviewed by Jim Hynes

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CDs by Robbie Walden Band

That classic country, Texas-influenced sound roaring out of the Northwest, now with their third release, is The Robbie Walden Band. They write their own material, record live in a jamming way and deliver a special kind of emotion and earned wisdom. They deliver the requisite subjects: love, drinking and hard days of work. Deep personal threads run through this concept album as Walden chronicles divorce bitterness and self-destruction before midway through we get the title track and the following happy, love-filled songs.

The band is a five-piece with baritone and electric guitars and pedal steel supported by bass and drums. Multi-instrumentalist Colby Sander and a three-piece horn section grace some tracks too. Their story driven songs and harmonies are similar in style to artists like Jason Eady and Jason Boland. Walden points to his life experiences in his songs, growing up in Alaska and Washington, serving in the military, thriving as an athlete and struggling a bit as an independent artist before forming the band.

His solid values are the subject of the opener, thinking he belongs to an older generation in "50 Years Too Late." He tackles divorce in "Dark Days" and summons plenty of voices, chain gang style for "Chains and Shackles." The outro surprisingly features a horn section, seemingly perhaps a bit out of place, but it does add a nice touch. Walden's blissful mood is best depicted in "Falling Again, In Love, " where he duets with Jordani Sarreal and again in "Love You Anyway I Can" where Walden leads. The celebratory closer, "Big Sky Country" seems almost requisite.

Forty or fifty years ago, you'd hear music as good as this on mainstream country radio. Today, we call it Americana. The Robbie Walden Band should rule the Americana radio airwaves. They are that good.