Sitting here slightly fragile after a night watching a Dallas rocker with a country swagger tear a hole where the stage in an English venue used to be, the latest release from Billy and the boys feels like the perfect after party music. Not that I have the energy to party. But that same blend of southern groove, garage rock grunt and country licks seems very appropriate right now.
Know One Knows Me drives on a solid, relentless backbeat and bass pulse, time and tide may wait for no man and neither does this song. Alex Quinn’s spiralling guitars and Billy’s vocals, a combination of world wise and world weary, vie for the lead role and then settle for compromise and harmonise as the song builds.
If California has The Blasters, a band that captured the country vibe but then represented it to the world via a harder, punk edged rock and roll delivery, Billy Roberts and The Rough Riders are doing the same job on the other side of the world. Okay, it isn’t going to please the purists but I’m sure it will turn a lot of people on to the idea of what country music can be, whilst delivering some consistently solid tunes along the way. If there is such a thing as alt-country…then this is definitely it.