A Thou­sand Horses flexes mus­cle

Band in­flu­enced by All­man Broth­ers, Mar­shall Tucker

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ENTERTAINMENT -

Did you cut your mu­si­cal teeth on the mu­sic of artists like the All­man Broth­ers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Wet Wil­lie and the Mar­shall Tucker Band?

For a pe­riod of time in the 70’s south­ern rock acts pretty much owned my turntable.

I’ve em­braced many dif­fer­ent kinds of mu­sic since then but still have a soft spot for acts that draw their in­spi­ra­tion in whole or in part from the same sources that inspired many of the south­ern acts I fol­lowed back then.

The latest act to find that soft spot is A Thou­sand Horses.

Hailed by Rolling Stone Coun­try as the best up-and-comer at last year’s Austin City Lim­its Mu­sic Fes­ti­val, A Thou­sand Horses is com­prised of lead vo­cal­ist Michael Hobby and lead gui­tarist Bill Satcher, both of whom hail from South Carolina, bass player Graham Deloach and gui­tarist Zach Brown. Deloach, who’s Satcher’s cousin, and Brown are both from Ge­or­gia.

Their col­lec­tive back­grounds, ac­cord­ing to their la­bel, ranged from clas­sic rock to tra­di­tional coun­try to punk to old-school R&B, but their com­mon ground was South­ern rock.

Pretty much a per­ma­nent fix­ture with the Nashville-based band are three fe­male back-up singers, Kris­ten Rogers, Whit­ney Coleman and Bri­anne An­ga­role, who have a south­ern gospel/r&b sound rem­i­nis­cent of the glory days of ses­sion singers like Cly­die King, Vanetta Fields and Sher­lie Matthews.

The mu­sic of A Thou­sand Days is a mus­cu­lar mix of south­ern rock, blues, coun­try, soul and gospel with a bit more grit in the mix than some of their con­tem­po­rary Nashville coun­ter­parts.

They cite the All­man Broth­ers and the Mar­shall Tucker Band among their in­flu­ences which gives you some in­di­ca­tion of where they’re com­ing from.

South­er­nal­ity, their first ful­l­length al­bum since sign­ing on with Re­pub­lic Nashville, is a well-crafted ef­fort that strikes a re­spectable bal­ance be­tween hard-hit­ting coun­try rock and less rau­cous coun­try pop bal­lads.

Those who fol­low the band more closely say A Thou­sand Horses must be seen live to be truly ap­pre­ci­ated. But you cer­tainly get an idea of what that live show could be like on tracks like First Time, which sounds like Ex­ile on Main Street-era Stones, the ti­tle track, South­er­nal­ity, Land­slide, which re­mains me just a lit­tle of The All­man Broth­ers’ Mid­night Rider and the po­ten­tial party an­them, Trailer Trashed.

This is a well-sea­soned band, tough­ened up

Doug Gallant, a re­porter with The Guardian, writes his mu­sic re­view col­umn for The Guardian ev­ery week. He wel­comes com­ments from read­ers at dgal­lant@the­guardian.pe.ca or 629-6000.


South­ern coun­try rock­ers A Thou­sand Horses show what they’re made of and where they come from on their new CD, South­er­nal­ity.

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