Album Review – The Royal Hounds –
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Long before Nashville's Lower Broadway was overgrown with bourgeois fern bars named after bad country performers or the street littered with peddler tavernas full of drunk night owls, it was virtually deserted after the Ryman Auditorium closed in the late 1970s and became pawnshops and filthy bookstores to conquer a part of the city that many consider to be an important corridor of the Holy Land of country music.

It then fell to a bunch of long haired country / punk / rockabilly cats and pompadours who were still interested in the old ways of making music and the history that was forged on Broadway in the 90s to recapture the area. Bands like Jason and the Scorchers, BR-549, Th ’Legendary Shack Shakers, Hank Williams III and Hillbilly Casino helped out. But you couldn't be just any hillbilly band and get through this harrowing era for Lower Broad. You had to be extraordinary. You had to be upside down, be extraordinarily talented and entertaining, and sometimes play for four hours at a time.

The Royal Hounds are one of the bands that still embody that original Lower Broadway revivalist attitude. They play standing residences at Layla & # 39; s every Sunday night and Robert & # 39; s Western World on Tuesdays, they're rockabilly, they're country, they're wild and fun, they sweat and play and sing their hearts for your ragged dollar, as if their life depends on it and they have just released a new album called A Whole Lot of Nothin & # 39; released.

A mix of rockabilly and country, they are musical bastards who do their best to squeeze what they do as a Lower Broadway power trio into 13 songs that feature the vocals and songwriting of front man and bassist Scott Hinds, the incredible guitar acrobatics of the locals The Brazilian Mathheus Canteri and Nathan Place behind the drums help to hold everything together.

A Whole Lot of Nothin & # 39; contains despatches from the lower level of life, be it drinking from the lowest shelf in "Cheap Drunk", leaving your lover and showing nothing more in "I & # 39; ve Got a Whole Lot (Of Nothing)" or, well, be dead like in "Dead Guy & # 39; s Blues".

Above all, this album is a showcase for the musical abilities of the three-piece band, including two instrumentals, "Door # 3" and "Corn Fritters", written by guitarist Mathheus Canteri, who like any lead guitarist who dares, has his face on the cool Side of Lower Broadway, fingers can move as fast as anyone. They also work with some guest musicians like the pedal steel player Eddie Lange and the violinist Aaron Till, which led to some real instrumental clinics, including the fiery "Pickin 'in the Graveyard".

Almost a whole lot of nothing could be called a holiday theme, both for Halloween and Christmas. With songs like “Rickety Pines” it's ripe for release during the Witch's Age, and then a “Krismastofferson” will spring up that hilariously combines Kristofferson factoids from the way he used to work as a janitor in a studio and once a helicopter landed in Johnny Cash rushes into a savage ditty about saving Christmas.

To get the true Royal Hounds experience, you need to see them in their element which is on Lower Broadway, or your local dive as they roll through town. But the release of this new album is the perfect excuse to highlight this important band that has also worked and played with some important artists such as Sierra Ferrell and the Queen of Lower Broadway Sarah Gayle Meech, among others.

Where it was once up to the bands on Lower Broadway to fight urban corruption and keep historic buildings haunted by the ghosts of country music past, these bands are now the bulwarks that stand up Fight against rabid gentrification and have terrible bar concepts by Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line. Bands like The Royal Hounds do the Lord's work, so don't forget the tip glass when it passes under your nose.

1 1/2 guns high

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