Slide guitar, slow licks and drawled lyrics about whiskey, women, and the love of the south…
Allan Jones did don a ten-gallon hat and cowboy boots on 5 August 2016, when Big Machine released the perfect excuse to pour out a bourbon and kick back on the porch.
The Cadillac Three were something of a guilty pleasure for me when their debut album came out, back when they called themselves Cadillac Black. I tried to claim, in my own head, that it was just plain ol’ southern rock, and no, it wasn’t even close to country, no sirree… But let’s be honest: these boys are country – heart and soul. They even come from Nashville, Tennessee, as if it wasn’t obvious enough from the presence of the lap-steel twang throughout the album.
In terms of content, you can expect that southern accent, slide guitar, slow licks and drawled lyrics about drinking whiskey, fooling around with women, and how much they love the south. In terms of their sound, it’s a rockin’ combination of country, blues and southern rock which varies from the more downbeat slow songs like ‘Drunk Like You’ and the much more bouncy and fun ‘Slide’ and ‘Party Like You’.
If I’m honest, I’m mostly here for the fun, bouncy stuff – the real sing-along-out-loud, stomp-your-boots stuff. Slow country music always seems to me to be a valid reason why statistically Nashville has such a high suicide rate. Like many country albums, there’s a few of those downbeat tracks on the album, but thankfully they’re not too indulgent and the rest of the album more than makes up for them. There’s also a lingering sense that they’re ever so slightly tongue-in-cheek, too, for all that they seem determined to prove how ‘real’ they are.
They’re very much playing to the crowd – and the crowd seems to want songs about how the south is just the goddamn best and to hell with y’all. The rest of us, though, would probably enjoy a little more variation – or at the very least, more of the summery sing-along songs about kicking back and drinking whisky that we can all identify with, rather than a diatribe of sorts on how we can’t take their accent from them.
For me, it’s a decent album, but it’s not as much fun as their debut. The main reason for this, I think, is that it’s slowed up and gone much more downbeat. While it shows more depth in their songwriting, it’s sapped much of the fun that made the first album so infectious. Instead of wanting to put the whole album on, I’d be more likely to pick out the few upbeat tracks instead, and go back to the debut.
7 out of 10
- Bury Me in My Boots
- Drunk Like You
- Party Like You
- Ship Faced
- Soundtrack to a Six Pack
- White Lightning
- The South (feat. Florida Georgia Line, Dierks Bentley & Mike Eli)
- This Accent
- Peace Love & Dixie
- Hot Damn
- Runnin’ Red Lights