Can We Get a Witness
A Distinctive Sound All of Their Own; Built Around a Gumbo of Southern Rock and British Blues.
As the years have gone by I’ve slowly and surely grown away from the Rock Music that I adored in my teens and twenties; but in mid-Lockdown August 2020 The Georgia Thunderbolts self-titled introductory EP, came out of absolutely nowhere and literally blew my bloody socks right off!
A lot of music has come and gone in the intervening 12 months; but when this CD arrived I was visibly excited …… but sadly; that evening i had to turn it off in the car after three or four tracks.
Why was that? You’re right to ask.
Well; music for me these days is becoming a case of ‘right place/right time’ and has to fit my mood ….. and this didn’t fit the bill at all……. I WAS TOO HAPPY!
That said; I did know that when the right day came along it would be the perfect soundtrack to ‘something’ ….. and ‘something’ was early last week when I’d had a day from Hell at work, which had followed several others in a similar vein …… time to crack out the Georgia Thunderbolts methinks!
Yep ……. opening track Take It Slow was cranked up to 9 and the windows were soon shaking as TJ Lyle; sounding uncannily like Bon Scott outfought guitarist Riley Couzzourt in a virtual knife fight, for the role of gang leader!
It’s still Southern Rock …… but with the emphasis on R.O.C.K and it works.
A year ago I said this about “the pounding beat of Lend a Hand (courtesy of drummer Bristol Perry and bassist Zack Everett) not just set the hair on the back of my neck upright; but had me desperately trying not to ‘head bang’ in the car!” and it was exactly the same that night and the one after …….. me doing my best Wyld Stallyns impression as I drove along the Washington Highway at midnight!
All four tracks from the EP are here; and haven’t aged a day; sitting in comfortably alongside songs both old and new; plus we get a couple of bonafide Rock Classics in Midnight Rider and Be Good to Yourself now covered in swaggering style for the 21st Century; and the world’s a better place for them.
But; this is really about introducing the combined talents of the Georgia Thunderbolts via their own songs; and what songs they are too.
Still proudly wearing their Southern Rock influences on their ripped sleeves; to me, there’s still more than element of of Paul Kossoff in Coouzzourt’s playing style, especially in the rifftastic Half Glass Woman, It’s All Right and the slow and bewitching Set Me Free too; while it’s also not too much of a stretch to imagine the band listening to AC/DC’s Let There Be Rock; in the car on the way to recording the stomping Walk Tall Man and Half Glass Woman too; and that’s meant as high praise indeed.
OK I’m probably going to deep into the ‘influences’ because even at this early stage in their career Georgia Thunderbolts have a distinctive sound all of their own; albeit a Gumbo of all of the above; which is probably the best way to describe the tragically beautiful anthems, Can Get a Witness and So You Want To Change the World; which are both surefire showstoppers when the band play live.
If the band’s own songs hadn’t been so good I probably would have gone for Be Good to Yourself as my Favourite Track here; but that’s hardly fair …. and I do like to be fair.
So, I’ve narrowed it down to two.
One is ‘obvious’ and the other less so; but just as memorable and stunning for songwriters at the beginning of a career.
The ‘obvious’ one is Spirit of a Working Man was my Favourite Track on the EP; a timeless anthem for the everyman among us who is struggling to make ends meet and has gradually had his spirit eroded until all that he has left is ….. well; this song will ring true with many who hear it across the world.
The other, Dancing With The Devil just about shades it for me, as it’s a song that shows that these cats aren’t just ‘one trick ponies’ ……. turning back to the Allman’s for a laid back groove that builds and b builds allowing all five members, Riley Couzzourt, Zach Everett, Bristol Perry, Logan Tolbert and of course TJ Lyle the opportunity to shine, individually and collectively.
Much of the Rock Music that I hear these days is destined to be played in Clubs and Bars; and while there’s nothing wrong with that at all …. in fact I’ve had some of the best nights of my life listening to that type of music in sweaty dungeons that may not have a Fire Certificate; but these songs and the Georgia Thunderbolts themselves seem destined for Arenas or major outdoor venues; while the band may not be top of the bill when that happens; it’s going to take very special band to follow them; and not to be blown off stage!
Released 18th October 2021