“Can We Get A Witness” – The Georgia Thunderbolts (2021) [english]

I just finished listening to this record. And the feeling is that I made a journey through time and space, a sound that led me into the countryside of Georgia, when the blues merged with country and rock and roll and the genre called southern rock was born. When in the early ’70s the wind of the cultural revolution brought the British sound of Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix ( although he was American but it was in Swinging London that he could best express himself) to lie on the banks of the Mississippi, a magical fusion allowed bands like the Allman Brothers Band (Macon’s own in Georgia) and Lynyrd Skynyrd to be the putative fathers of this new sound. Melody, rock and blues of the cotton plantations but soaked in the taste of the sweet peaches that are the mascot of the state. This is what awaits you in this real debut for the Mascot Label Group. They are not new to record releases but the first two were Eps and just a preview of the tornado that will shake you to the ground. I told you about the first EP in this article (it’s in italian) https://trexroads.altervista.org/southern-rock-from-rome-georgia-thunderbolts-2019-rock-sanguigno-e-sapore-di-pesche/. and already the boys of Rome, GA had left me that feeling that something important was being born. Then there was the debut EP with Mascot (I talked about it here : https://trexroads.altervista.org/the-georgia-thunderbolts-the-georgia-thunderbolts-2020/ ) There are feelings that I cannot explain when I listen to a new band or a new soloist, if it takes my soul at first listening then the world will hardly forget. And so it was and will be for TJ Lyle ( lead vocals), Riley Couzzourt (lead guitar), Logan Tolbert (guitar), Zach Everett (bass and keyboards) and Bristol Perry (drums) :  the Georgia Thunderbolts. In my two previous articles you will find many things that I had already said about them, many songs I had already known them, but you will find much more in this article because they put these guys on the plate much more, confirming that a great band is born. The album starts as a rocket, a wave of guitar and a riff that takes the stomach, Take It Slow is pure southern. Tj Lyle’s voice is a gift from heaven, bad and intense but the whole band is a monolith and the harmonica reminds us that we are always talking about blues. What a departure, friends! The guitars are perfect, the lessons of the greats of the past have been assimilated to the great by the guitars of Couzzourt and Tolbert. There is so much of Steve Gaines (as I said in my first article) and Duane Allman in this sound, inspiration makes the difference but the talent to put this inspiration into practice is not for everyone. The second piece, Lend A Hand, had already appeared in the first EP and confirms all the good I had heard, powerful riff and soul flavor but the voice makes the difference, a firepower that does not prisoners. And what about the solo? A tear in the cloudy sky, a surge of electricity that shakes the speakers. Beautiful. If you think the time machine was just a metaphor, start So You Wanna Change The World, his soul-rock recording and tell me it doesn’t sound like a piece from a session with Lynyrd Skynyrd, that voice, those feelings, those lyrics : this is southern rock by author, a band with a really crystalline talent. The arpeggio and the melody of Looking For An Old Friend, a wonderful ballad as they used to be in golden times, here too the inspiration to the greats of the past is glaring. It’s not a copy and paste be clear, everything is interpreted with an evident personal character and the guys of Rome will leave a sign that will not go away easily, in these times of crowding of bands trying to make it, succeed is already a great merit. After the energetic guitar scretches of Spirit of a Working Man, a song that seems to unleash a piece almost hard rock but then has in the melody of the bridge a very pleasant counterbalance, a sway between light and shadow of seventy years memory, the time machine arrives where it all started and the band gives us a cover of Midnight Rider of the Allman Brothers Band to lick your lips! The song of the brothers Duane and Gregg Allman is coated with heavy steel and almost turns into a piece between rock and hard rock, a ride of expressive power absolutely fantastic and never heard before. A cover is always a risk but when you have the talent of these guys is just another test of strength and originality and the almost heavy metal finish, with heavy riffs and intertwined solos, is pure courage. Sincere congratulations! The tension is relieved by another cover, fun and engaging, Be Good To Yourself by Frankie Miller, I assure you will dance and sing, beat your foot in time and let yourself be guided in the second part of a wonderful record. Half Glass Woman is dirty rock, it’s blues with a killer sounding harmonica, it’s southern to the core, Dancing With The Devil is a rhythmic country rock, but it’s always the voice of TJ Lyle that amazes with intensity and character. We get almost to the end and the title track gets us in the face with a riff of granite guitar, electricity in rivers and that voice that can literally do what he wants. He can drive us in a quiet prairie, as in the bridge of this piece or as in the refrain to the saddle of a roaring Harley at full speed in one of those endless roads. Big piece. And as in the first EP, this work ends with Set Me Free, another piece characterized by a first level guitar groove, the shadows of the greats of the past hover over the recording studio wisely guiding the fingers of Couzzourt and Talbert, blues and rock melted like old times. A disk that darts away fast, 13 pieces are not few but in no one you have the impression of filler or low intensity. A band that rests firmly on an exceptional rhythm, Perry and Everett, a duo of guitarists who seem to have appeared since the seventies and especially a voice that has few equals in the American rock scene today. TJ Lyle gives us a performance to frame, exciting and intense at the highest levels. If you love the quality rock, the emotions that do not give up soul, you have found a band to add to the list of the new greats, along with Whiskey Myers, Steel Woods and Blackberry Smoke, here you can easily add the Georgia Thunderbolts from Rome, Georgia, United States of America.

Good listening,

Trex Willer by http://www.ticinonotizie.it

(you can find original italian article at this link : https://www.ticinonotizie.it/the-georgia-thunderbolts-can-we-get-a-witness-2021-by-trex-roads/ )