Alt country is one of those genres that seems to mean something different to everyone. But we have had the opportunity to hear three really good alt country acts here lately, and they’re absolutely perfect for busting out those beers and brats for the coming spring and summer picnic season. Spin these records while you party in the backyard or around the bonfire with your buddies.
-Bloodshot Records artist Cory Branan is in the class of alt country rockers that has run the circuit many times. Playing venues from dive bars to big rooms, he’s been in the company of big stars. His songwriting fits that stage as well. His self-deprecating title “No Hit Wonder” is his most recent album that would be great for your summer parties.
“You Make Me,” a clear single off of the album has that summertime beer-in-hand attitude to it. One part romance, one part jam track, it’s the perfect party song. “No Hit Wonder” is a song about a traveling singer songwriter who finally makes it big on a song that’s not even his own. Dripping with irony and attitude, like all of Branan’s music, it’s sure to get some smiles out of fans of the Driveby Truckers, Jason Isbell, and even a little bit of Bob Dylan.
No Dry County
-From the opening big chord of “The Night Before” it’s evident that No Dry County is a big country sound. A bit more commercial sounding than what we typically feature around here, NDC’s big sound really works. It’s the kind of high production country music that gets people out to the bonfire where they drink enough to regret it the next day – which exactly what the opening track is about.
What makes NDC such clear alt country is their reliance on electric guitars as the driving force of the sound. The rocking attitude seeps through on most tracks, reflecting styles that clearly would be fitting at country and rock festivals all summer long. They’re a main stage act just waiting for their shot to show off.
-I hesitate to ever use the word “crazy” to describe a band, but seriously I think the members of Banditos might be a little crazy. They perform with such obvious supernatural inspiration that they appear to be almost possessed. Their sound is nearly manic, but so full of whatever it is that rock in its purest form is – that we just have to hear more. There are vague elements of country music, but it’s pretty limited to the banjo and the hats.
Banditos self titled debut album is full of angst and power. The guitars are just about as full of attitude as possible. My favorite track on the album (which is jam packed with party hits), is the super bluesy “Cry Baby Cry,” which puts me in mind of Stevie Ray Vaughn. The guitar solos are out of this world! It’s the kind of album that makes me want to grab a budget-friendly beer, some good buddies, and head out to the horseshoe pit for a good afternoon. Do enjoy!