Promised Land – Russ Still and the Moonshiners (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

StillCookinTitleArt512-440x440Terms such as country-rock often conjure conflicts in the mind of the would be punter. Rock music tipping its Stetson at more rootsy traditions? Country music making a break for wider commercial markets by betraying the tenets of the genre? Well, there are no such concerns in the wake of listening to Promised Land, playing as it does to the strengths of all concerned.

Country grooves leave dusty footprints across the record and rock music brings the required swagger but there is so much more going on here as well. Bluesy bar-room piano adds some wonderfully deft touches and once the guitars are let loose they wander down some fantastic Southern rock pathways. It feels at once retro, contemporary and brilliantly forward thinking…how do you do that?

The songs dynamic is buoyant and filled with the right blend of loose attitude and on the button precision, it takes a great band to feel so relaxed in their deliveries and yet still have everything hitting just perfectly. The more I try to dissect the song, the more I fall in love with its construction, but that isn’t what music was designed for. Forget the soothing and fine-tuned purr coming from under the hood, let’s just open this baby up and see how fast it will go….

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