Get dancing to the latest single from John Surge and The Haymakers. ‘Rattle Me’ is an upbeat, uptempo song that’s full of energy and built upon a strong rhythm supplied by drummer Tom Lewis. A fine team of players supports Surge’s catchy, melodic voice, including Brennen Leigh on harmony vocals and Floyd Domino on rolling, flowing keys. The dynamic Randy Volin delivers a couple of stirring guitar solos, closing out the song in style. Lyrically, the song is a barroom tale, as Surge explains: “It’s a sad but true tale: reaching for that unattainable love interest, thinking you might have a shot and being met with disappointment…again. Can you relate?”
‘Rattle Me’ is taken from the brand new album ‘Almost Time’, a collection of honky tonk and roadhouse country rock tunes and tales with that barroom theme and feel. Surge says: “I would say the thread that runs through the album is barroom tales — people sharing their troubles, bragging, pontificating, revealing their vulnerabilities. As a working band, we spend a lot of time in nightspots and there’s a lot of unfiltered conversation. I had my antennae up and those moments got captured and expanded into the songs I wrote for this album.” Many of those songs were written in a short period in 2021 when Surge had set himself the goal of writing two a week for three months. He was seventeen songs into the project when he realised it was time to start thinking about recording an album, a process that started with finding the right producer. Surge recalls: “Years ago I heard Sunny Sweeney’s ‘East Texas Pines’ on the radio and I jotted it down. I really liked the sound of the production. I was going through some old notebooks around the time I was writing songs for the album and there was the note. I tracked it down to Tommy Detamore and realised he also produced albums for Jim Lauderdale, Doug Sahm and the latest Jesse Daniel record, which I also loved. I made the decision right then to get in touch with Tommy, and he was up for the job. For this record, I wrote more material than I planned to record, and I worked and reworked songs until they got to the right place rather than just taking what came top of mind. The recording was more influenced by Tommy’s production than the location. I hear this record as an evolution from the last. It’s still spirited, rockin’ roadhouse country with this album having a more traditional country instrumentation, including fiddle, more pedal steel, dobro and acoustic guitar. It’s a moment in time and only time will tell how people will react to it, but the experience is one I’ll always feel was perfect.” Get moving to this honky tonk single and then check out the new album.