Album Feature – The Cadillac Three – Tabasco & Sweet Tea

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Oct 282020
 

By Joshua Wallace

The Cadillac Three have returned with their second album of 2020 and this album is a game changer for them.  The band has leaned more into the funk side of their sound and dropped any notion of getting played on country radio.  There has also been an instrument change as Kelby Ray has dropped the lap steel in favor of bass to give The Cadillac Three’s new sound a proper low end.  It’s a sonic shift that in my opinion has created their best album yet.  Let’s check out some of these tracks on The Cadillac Three’s fifth album.

The album kicks off with a great guitar riff on “Tabasco & Sweet Tea” before settling into a funky danceable groove that immediately lets you know what you’re in for on this record.  Jaren Johnston’s crooning on this track is just the right kind of funky for the vibes here also.  “Sweet Southern Spirit” starts off with an old school hip hop drum beat before the guitar kicks in and brings in the funk.  This is a great track about the kind of woman that is “on a country boy bucket list”.  TC3 name checks Lynyrd Skynyrd here on this track that has a great funky guitar solo that you can get down to.  

“Devil’s Lettuce” brings a funky rap spin to a track about getting high on devil’s lettuce.  It’s a funky kind of hip hop feel here but you still get the killer guitar riffs that TC3 are bringing all over this record.  It reminds me of what ZZ Top did with “I Gotsta Get Paid”, but leaning more into the funky aspect of that kind of track rather than the dirty blues that ZZ Top employed on their song.  “Money Ain’t Shit” is another track that brings a killer guitar riff right up front and center with a cool back beat and smooth crooning from Johnston.  This track and the next are big indications that The Cadillac Three are not pushing hard for radio friendly songs anymore.  The next song is “Turn The Radio On” which is a straight up country radio protest song.  It speaks to how hard it is for artists to make it if they don’t get played on country radio.  It’s always great to hear an artist in the position of someone like The Cadillac Three acknowledge this.  They have had their own struggles with getting played on the radio and air it out here.

The Cadillac Three have created what I consider to be their best album yet with Tabasco & Sweet Tea.  If you haven’t been a fan or have been on the fence about them, I highly suggest giving this record a listen as it is a different style for them.  They have dropped any pretense of making music to get played on country radio and just went to make the funky country record they wanted to.  It’s a sound that just works for them and I hope this is what we get from TC3 going forward.  Tabasco & Sweet Tea is out everywhere as of October 23rd, 2020.  As a special note, digital copies are $3.99 for a limited time on the band’s website.

Favorite Tracks : Tabasco & Sweet Tea, Sweet Southern Spirit, Devil’s Lettuce, Money Ain’t Shit, Turn The Radio On, Sabbath On Cornbread

The Cadillac Three – Tabasco & Sweet Tea (2020)

  1. Tabasco & Sweet Tea
  2. Stop That Girl
  3. Head Over Wheels
  4. Sweet Southern Spirit
  5. Road Soda
  6. Bridges
  7. Devil’s Lettuce
  8. Crispy
  9. Money Ain’t Shit
  10. Turn The Radio On
  11. Sabbath On Cornbread

Album Feature – The Cadillac Three – Country Fuzz

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Feb 102020
 

By Joshua Wallace

I have been a fan of The Cadillac Three for a while.  They bring a sound similar to ZZ Top but with modern aesthetics which bring that sound forward.  They always have a mix of rocking numbers and smoother songs meant for country radio. This album is much heavier on the fuzzy rock tunes as the title implies.  For those who are not familiar, The Cadillac Three have been around since 2011 and are Jaren Johnston on lead vocals and guitar, Kelby Ray on bass guitar, steel guitar and vocals, Neil Mason on drums and vocals.  Let’s check out some of the good stuff from this record.

The album kicks off with “Bar Round Here” which is a fun rockin number about your local watering hole.  I dig the electric slide guitar solo on this one. You know you’re in for a fun record. The track “Slow Rollin’” is a slower track that brings the heavy fuzz rock sound you would expect from this record.  I dig the groove this track has and it’s sure to be a fan favorite live. “Crackin’ Cold Ones With The Boys” has some fun lyrical turns with the laundry list style of songwriting. It has an infectious hook and some groovy beats that will pull you in much like the rest of this album does.

On a different note, the ballad “Raise Hell” is a song about how hard it is to get to Heaven if you want to raise hell.  This track is a ballad, but it keeps the heavy fuzzy rock aesthetics that run through the album and I dig that in a song like this.  “Jack Daniel’s Heart” is a fun spin on the typical Jack Daniels song. It asks the question who broke Jack Daniel’s heart to make him want to make a whiskey so strong.   The dobro on this track is groovy and infectious. It will have anyone dancing once this one comes on. Finally, we have the heaviest song on the album “Whiskey and Smoke”.  The riffs are heavy and thick with this one and it goes more into stoner rock territory than southern rock. I dig it as there is nothing else really like this in The Cadillac Three catalog.

This is the best record from The Cadillac Three in my opinion and leans stronger on the southern rock heavy sound that makes them unique from other bands on country radio.  If you have slept on this band for any reason, Country Fuzz is a good place to give them another look. This album was out everywhere as of Friday February 7th, 2020.

Favorite Tracks : Bar Round Here, Slow Rollin’, Crackin’ Cold Ones With The Boys, Labels, Raise Hell, Jack Daniel’s Heart, Whiskey and Smoke

The Cadillac Three – Country Fuzz (2020)

  1. Bar Round Here
  2. The Jam
  3. Hard Out Here For A Country Boy feat. Chris Janson, Travis Tritt
  4. Slow Rollin’
  5. All The Makin’s Of A Saturday Night
  6. Crackin’ Cold Ones With The Boys
  7. Labels
  8. Raise Hell
  9. Back Home
  10. Dirt Road Nights
  11. Blue El Camino
  12. Jack Daniel’s Heart
  13. Why Ya Gotta Go Out Like That
  14. Heat
  15. Whiskey and Smoke
  16. Long After Last Call