The Steel Woods | Bush Hall, London
Live Nation Concerts presents The Steel Woods
The Steel Woods sophomore Thirty Tigers album, Old News, represents a creative leap for the southern roots rock songwriting team of Alabama native Wes Bayliss and his North Carolina partner Jason Rowdy Cope, who completed their first recordings barely months after they first met. Recorded in Asheville, NC at Echo Mountain Studios, the site of an old church during a six-day break in a hectic touring schedule, the new double-vinyl disc (the follow-up to 2017s critically acclaimed Straw in the Wind) features more original songs and, for the first time, the whole band participated including the rhythm section of bassist Johnny Stanton and drummer Jay Tooke playing in a single room, cutting the tracks virtually live.
Lynyrd Skynyrd, Allman Brothers, dual-guitar southern blues-rock with elements of R&B, country, bluegrass, gospel, blues, folk and metal, the descriptively named, Nashville-based band deepens its resolve on a theme-driven album that joins the mystery train of the past with the full-speed loco-motion of the present, seeking to bring people together with the universality of music. Conceptually and musically, 'Old News' delivers a set of songs at once eternal with lyrics wrenched from todays headlines, featuring mythic reverberations and social critiques to boot. The album mourns an idealized past but isnt afraid to point the way to a better future that enlists the best of both worlds.
Like The Steel Woods previous release, death and mortality make their chilling presence felt, whether its in the collections cemetery-placed set piece, Rock That Says My Name, whose theme is classic Shelley Ozymandias, look upon ye works and despair or the vintage bluegrass country of Anna Lee, the culmination of a murder trilogy begun with Della Janes Heart on the last album and ending with the Neil Young/Crazy Horse-ish instrumental, Red River (The Fall of Jimmy Sutherland). That preoccupation spills over into an idiosyncratic cover of Townes Van Zandts The Catfish Song, and a special four-song epilogue that includes faithful tributes to artists who have passed away - Tom Petty (Southern Accent), Merle Haggard (the prescient Are The Good Times Really Over), Gregg Allman (Whipping Post as funeral dirge) and Alabama singer/songwriter Wayne Mills (the meditation on mortality, One of These Days). Just as on Straw in the Wind, theres a Black Sabbath cover, this time a take on Changes that transforms the song into a smooth Memphis-style Al Green soul croon, a nod to the cover by the late Charles Bradley.
U18's accompanied by an adult
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