Fans of the new Kevin Costner TV series “Yellowstone,” which airs on Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. on the Paramount Network, were treated to a preview of what they can see and hear live and in person Friday night, Aug. 3, at the Washington Town & Country Fair.
The music of Texas-based Southern rockers Whiskey Myers was featured prominently in the most recent episode of the show, to the point that the band’s newest album, “Mud,” was driven to No. 1 on iTunes country chart and the band’s other albums were listed in the Top 10.
Fairgoers can hear it all performed live when Whiskey Myers takes the Fair’s main stage Friday night at 9:30 p.m.
Built Up Rabid Following
The band’s breakout third album “Early Morning Shakes” earned raves everywhere from Rolling Stone to USA Today, and led to them touring the United States and United Kingdom relentlessly, slaying massive festival crowds and sharing stages with Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hank Williams Jr., Jamey Johnson, and more along the way.
Fueled by larger-than-life performances honed tight from countless nights on the road, Whiskey Myers’ new album, “Mud,” finds the band scaling new heights of songwriting and musicianship, with searing guitars, soulful vocals and indelible hooks.
The tight-knit group’s roots stretch back decades into the red dirt of East Texas, where Cody Cannon (lead vocals and guitar), Cody Tate and John Jeffers (guitars) first began playing together before rounding out their initial lineup with the addition Jeff Hogg (drums) and Gary Brown (bass).
They built up a rabid local following on the strength of their 2008 debut album, “Road of Life,” and then notched their first No. 1 on the Texas Music Charts with their 2011 follow-up “Firewater.” It was “Early Morning Shakes,” though, that introduced the rest of the world to what Texas already knew.
‘Raw, Visceral Emotion’
On “Mud” (2016), the music sounds like raw, visceral emotion: pride, faith, desire, defiance.
The songs are stories of ordinary men and women standing up for their families and honoring their roots. Home is sacred ground for Whiskey Myers, not just a plot of land, but rather the cornerstone of an identity worth dying for.
Fiddle-led album opener “On the River” steps back to frontier times when the struggle for survival was a daily one, while the epic title track promises a home-foreclosing banker “Ain’t no man gonna take it away / Because it’s deep down in my blood / So step across the ol’ property line / And you’ll die right here in the mud.”
“Frogman,” written with Rich Robinson of the Black Crowes, follows a Southern man halfway around the world, as he risks his life to defend freedom and fight terror in the Middle East as a Navy Seal, and the Darrell Scott co-write “Trailer We Call Home” finds the beauty in simple things, concluding, “Times get tough but love is strong / Here in this trailer that we call home.”
“Where you come from and where you grew up influences your music a lot,” says Cannon. “As a band, we don’t go into the studio with any preconceived theme. You just sit down and you write and the songs come out naturally.”
As a result, Whiskey Myers’ music fits neatly into no genre. Sure, it’s heavily influenced by country music, but the band credits everything from Alan Jackson and Waylon Jennings to Led Zeppelin and Nirvana as inspiration.
In the end, there may be no better word for Whiskey Myers than authentic. This music is in their blood, and it flows as naturally from them as a spring feeding a mountain creek.
They make music they’re proud of that celebrates where they come from and makes people feel good. As far as they’re concerned, that’s all the success anyone could ever ask for.