There is a renaissance happening, an old spirit is re-emerging many will say they have heard it all before but who really cares, because that independent spirit is rising once again. Based on the intertwining sounds of rock, country and blues amalgamated and mixed up and poured out, there is an old sound from the heartland roaring back to life. The Wild Feathers are a part of this and the Nashville band have released an amazing debut album. It takes in the harmonies of the Crosby Stills Nash and Young matched with some of the darkness of Neil Young's mid 70's period. The opener Backwoods Company is a raucous hillbilly tune, starting off like the Allman Brothers with duelling guitars the song reflects a mysteriousness and darkness that permeates the album, the band are great storytellers capturing that ethos that was pioneered by the likes of Neil Young and Robbie Robertson.
Forced to gamble, forced to cheat
In the Backwoods company
American is a strutting anthem, proud and strong with the band taking a leaf out of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers jangling guitars. It's an ode to the beauty of the American landscape from the country backroads to the west coast landscape, it's a nostalgic look at what is beautiful about America. I Can Have You is another great piece of melodic rock but the band never play it safe, they never veer towards the banal. The Ceiling is the standout track some great acoustic picking starts the song and then it continues to build, another song crafted against a backdrop of darkness and doubt. From it's country rock origins it then stops and takes on an ethereal presence before the band build to a brilliant crescendo. Left My Woman criss crosses the country taking stock of everything left behind, from Oklahoma to the sunny shores, it's about leaving family behind to hit the road. It's also about being caught between small country towns, open highways and narrow roads, hard to stay but hard to go, it has the same angst that Rick Danko and Richard Manuel bought to the songs they sang with The Band.
Hard Wind sounds like the great 70's records that Crosby Stills Nash and Young recorded, great harmonies and swirling melodies full of soul and powerful guitars. If You Don't Love Me has more of a West Coast feel, melancholy and aching, Got It Wrong comes out of The Jayhawks songbook, country tinged and more refined just another example of how many strings to their bow this group possess. The interesting aspect of this album is that it has come out on a major label, Warner Brothers so hopefully the band are able to negotiate the sometimes fraught waters that come with working with a major label.