Review by Dean Pedley, photos by Rich Ward
Texan red dirt rockers Whiskey Myers are continuing to make new friends on this side of the pond and this return visit to the Institute (they were last here in December) saw them play another terrific show that highlighted songs from 2016’s Mud alongside 2014’s Early Morning Shakes and 2011’s Firewater.
Led by vocalist, guitarist and chief songwriter Cody Cannon, the band is made up of Cody Tate (guitar), John Jeffers (guitar), Gary Brown (bass), Jeff Hogg (drums), Jon Knudson (keyboards and fiddle) and Tony Kent (percussion) albeit family commitments mean Knudson doesn’t link up with them until later in the tour. The absence of his fiddle meant we lost the acoustic pieces from the set in Birmingham (including the stand out ballad ‘Trailer We Call Home’) but Whiskey Myers just rearranged the show slightly and delivered hard rocking barnburners including ‘Wild Baby Shake Me’ and ‘Bar, Guitar & A Honky Tonk Crowd’ that were lapped up by the delighted crowd.
The Dave Cobb produced Mud is proving to be Whiskey Myers breakout album, retaining their authentic Southern twang with the likes of ‘On The River’ and ‘Mud’ and loosening the shackles for the up-tempo fun of ‘Frogman’ and ‘Lightning Bugs and Rain’. Carrying the torch that was lit by the Allmans and Skynyrd, Tate and Jeffers trade licks throughout the show and Cannon, very much the restrained and unassuming frontman, delivers heartfelt signature song ‘Ballad of a Southern Man’ that defines what Whiskey Myers are all about. And yet the fact they are able to close the main set with an unlikely cover of ‘Seven Nation Army’ evidences an ability to rip up the form book and try something a little bit different.
We are enjoying a golden age of Southern Rock at the moment with the likes of Blackberry Smoke, The Cadillac Three and A Thousand Horse amongst others. Whiskey Myers are very much at the forefront of this resurgence and with the band still relatively young we can look forward to plenty more shows like this one.
On the River
Early Morning Shakes
Broken Window Serenade
Lightning Bugs and Rain
Lonely East TX Nights
Bar, Guitar and a Honky Tonk Crowd
Some of Your Love
Wild Baby Shake Me
Ballad of a Southern Man
Seven Nation Army
Photos from Nottingham Rescue Rooms 22nd May 2017