Waylon Speed, Valance | Album Review | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Waylon Speed, Valance 

Album Review

music-waylon.jpg

(Crow on Ten, CD)

Waylon Speed, undoubtedly Burlington’s most renowned country-rock outfit, no longer require any introduction. This is a band hell-bent on making a name for itself, and its members have played their cards —Texas Hold ’em would be my guess — extremely well from day one. Since the quartet’s inception in 2010, Waylon Speed have released two full-length albums — 2010’s Georgia Overdrive and 2011’s Horseshoes & Hand Grenades — and one EP, 2011’s Boots. Each effort markedly improved upon the last, and their live shows, as you most likely know, are not to be missed. As Kelly Ravin’s down-home lyrics frequently suggest, the wheels on this vehicle have no intention of slowing. A full-on stop, in most cases, would signify nothing short of death.

Valance, Waylon Speed’s latest effort, trades in the classic-country themes of whiskey, speed, gasoline, trains, smoke and best friends’ wives. Perhaps this sounds trite on paper, but rest assured that Waylon Speed transcend cliché and deliver to listeners all that is great about balls-to-the-walls country music, and American music in general.

An almost mind-numbing energy runs through this album, from its first notes to its last. The guitar, drum and bass work — courtesy of Chitwood Hammaker, Justin Crowther and Noah Crowther, respectively — that drive Ravin’s lyrics down the dirty back roads and endless interstates of America sound like Johnny Cash’s Tennessee Three ridin’ on some serious amphetamines. This is energy that would have been incomprehensible in the 1950s. Tracks “Then Again” and “Killin’ Time” feature some of the finest quick-fingered guitar solos to come out of a Burlington amp in a long minute. Ravin’s lyrics regarding “broken bottles, broken bones and broken hearts” (“Smoke”) are written and delivered with heartfelt sincerity.

Recorded live to two-inch analog tape, Valance has a timeless quality — so rare these days — that can only be realized in a room full of musicians playing alongside and against each other. And louder’n hell!

Put this record on, turn it way up, and your surroundings all but dissolve; you’re now in a beat-up old truck and don’t give a damn about open-container laws.

Waylon Speed play the Parker Pie Co. in West Glover this Saturday, July 14.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

More By This Author

About The Author

Sean Hood

Comments


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Latest in Album Review

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2020 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401  |  Contact Us
Website powered by Foundation