Whoa! I thought these guys were from Joliet Illinois. At first listen you would swear they came outta the swamps of the American southland. The more you listen the more you hear. If you took The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty and…oh let’s say Guns ‘N’ Roses…put them all in a paper sack, threw in some chicken, shook it up and fried it in a cast iron skillet it would give you an idea of what The Righteous Hillbillies sound like. The rhythm section lays down a foundation that you could build the Sears Tower on. The lead guitar is great with its rough edge, but at times you get some of that beautiful sound reminiscent of Mick Taylor’s playing with the Stones. The vocals are top notch.
The 13 original songs run the rock and roll orbit from the hard rock sound of Sweet Dove to the semi-ballad sound of Before The Devil Knows. Beautifully Broken, a great song that kicks off the CD, tells the tale of a woman who was on top, but eventually “she’s all but dead and gone”. Being from Joliet Illinois and the Chicago area the rails are a big part of your life and The Righteous Hillbillies include trains and railroads throughout the disc. Steel Yard Train compares the singer’s sexual prowess to a locomotive and in Money Train Blues they admit that “my money trains gone”. They also include a shout out to the working man with 20 Pound Hammer (great Labor Day song) about grinding out a living working for the railroad. The last song on the disc is one of my favorites, Before The Devil Knows a woeful song about catching and taking action on a couple diddlers.
When you listen to these boys you get the feelin’ that they’re right there in your back pocket as you roll through your working class life. Seeing and feeling everything with you as it happens. Check out The Righteous Hillbillies…they deserve a listen.
Tags: 20 Pound Hammer, Barret Harvey, Before The Devil Knows, Brent James, Johnny Gadeikis, Joliet Illinois, Kev, Money Train Blues, Righteous Hillbillies, Steel Yard Train, Sweet Dove, The Righteous Hillbillies