I promised my good friends the outlaw orchestra I would review both their eps for them rather than do two separate reviews I have done a double one.
The Devil Made Me Do IT was released in 2017 the title is a nod to their sponsors Cloven Hoof Rum,
The first song See you in Hell with opens immediately with Steven Welch’s banjo intro this is a real barn dance hillbilly number, the banjo definitely dominates this song but all the members get a chance to shine, with the powerful vocal of David Roux and Ryan Smiths drumming keeping the fun party beat going, cigar box guitar from Dave and the double bass of Alex Barter keeps the toes tapping on this excellent opening track.
Laughing All the Way to The Gallows a rockier number I love the tongue in cheek lyrics to this a great chorus that all the band join in on it has a little ZZ Top guitar break and a chorus that would keep any live audience happy.
Final track Back to Georgia Another fun song this time with the real southern sound of Black Stone Cherry Rival Sons etc inspired by a real-life incident that happened to Dave about changing a tyre and having to then head back to Georgia hence the title, A Cow bell start and another toe tapping number where the trio of guitar bass and banjo gel so well together, great percussion work from Ryan where he definitely makes use of the cowbell on this number and nice gravelly vocals from Dave.
GOD KNOWS WE TRIED
This is the long awaited new ep from the orchestra released in July this year and there is an exclusive interview about it on You Tube I did with the guys at Ramblin Man, they have a brand new member replacing Stephen, in the charismatic Pete Briley not only playing banjo but bringing a new dynamic to the sound by playing lap steel as well, the first thing I noticed about the album was that it has a less punchier production than the first one, I don’t know if they changed the mix this time but that’s what I got.
This doesn’t mean I don’t like the album as i said the addition of lap steel creates a brand new scope of sound for the band and they definitely put it to use on the first track Country High , this is a real fans favourite when performed live a real yee hah country song with Dave screaming hell yea and putting his guitar skills on show straight away, I mentioned the production and the bass and drum sound seems to have lost its oomph here you can hear it, as well as Ryan’s drumming but there’s something missing .Dave always tells the story of the origins of this song if you want to know it go and see them live it will be worth it.
God Knows. This like so many of this bands songs has a story behind it which Dave who also loves to tell the live crowds the stories are nearly always about him and have the audience in tears of laughter most of the time, this is about the time Dave saw Cadillac Three in Hollywood with his band when they were called Cadillac Black, the lighting rig guy had white hair and a huge white beard and he couldn’t sort out the lighting so as he climbed down to complain Dave said to his girl “Hey look Gods come down to complain about the noise”, this is what you get at an outlaw orchestra gig not just great music but amazing stories too.
Anyway, to the song a totally different vibe slow tempo a soothing ballad with the lap steel leading it, a big difference but I think with the lap steel now as an addition there could be more of these types of songs from the lads.
My favourite song on the ep Burn the House and probably the fans favourite live as well roaring out the chorus, starting with great percussion work from Ryan then it just goes from rock, to blues to country ,once again a great story behind it but ill leave it to Dave at a gig to tell it to you.
Final song Phantasmagoria the title being about the idea of being in love with an image or a person via social media. Sounds a little bit like a James Bond intro at times but very soon goes in to a country vibe a strange little number with more than one bridge and it changes into a blues rock number half way through a nice end to the ep and all the musicians get to show off on this track.
Reviews by Dave Martin