Concept album as therapy delivers mixed results
Using the therapy of a double concept album to overcome the anguish of being ripped off by a shyster management and record company that took their money and disappeared (haven’t we all done this!?!) The Tennessee Stiffs have conjured up a very mixed bag of Southern Gothic/Hard Rock/Dust Bowl Rock ‘n’ Roll. As they say when it’s good it’s very good and when it bad it’s ….not good really. Songs like ‘Natchez Trace’ have a demonic rhythm all cracked vocals, squealing fiddles and a real swing; similarly ‘Temptress’ with its earthy vocal and rough ‘n’ ready guitar also hits the spot with its sass and verve. ‘Cold Comfort’ is an intriguing ditty based around the wonderful vocals of Cara Jane Sadler one half of the couple along with husband Ethan Lee Sadler that are the beating heart of this band
However tracks like ‘Testify’ and ‘Hey Paranoia’ outstay their welcome with their by the numbers ‘southern rock’ and begin to grate very quickly. So if this has eased the pain and banished the demons then it was an exercise well worth doing, however, a judicious editing may well have created a more compelling album. File under interesting and ones to watch.