There is a group that I frequent on social media Facebook that is called Independent Country Music Connection run by two guys (guys like me means, young people inside!) now become for me as dear friends: Rick and Joe.
In this page managed with passion and love for true independent music, every day I discover new artists and new songs of which I fall madly in love.
Incidentally, Rick also has his own web radio, WSKY Radio, through which spreads the verb of the music of ordinary people for ordinary people, without majors, without major labels and without the damn mainstream among the boxes. Unfortunately on this side of the Ocean we can’t listen to it, but if you go to my Spotify playlist updated daily (https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3L32ssakWKdrxNlpelO6ao?si=d5e6c97289804b8c) you’ll find practically the same songs.
Just after seeing a post by Rick on the page, I decided to listen to a song from this band that I wanted to talk to you about today. It was love at first!
Cody Ikerd & the Sidewinders is an explosive blend of country and rock. Melody full of energy and much love for the music of the South of the United States.
The leader of this band was not born singer and guitarist, but as a young man he had already developed a visceral love for music: he was a drummer in some bands in his city Bedford, Indiana. He played various genres until around the age of 25 and has always played acoustics.
Until that age he had never sung, but then a love for the music of the great country artists of the past exploded: Hank Williams, Merle Haggard and the legendary George Jones (About Jones if you are a user of the streaming platform Paramount+ I point out the beautiful biographical series George & Tammy on the famous and tormented love between him and the legendary singer Tammy Wynette).
This love and that for the great rock and southern bands of the past, led him to learn to be a frontman and also to improve as a guitarist and the natural outlet was to put on a band of his own.
With the help of his father who was a bit of a promoter and a bit of a manager, from 2016 Cody Ikerd began to do things more and more seriously. It must be hard and it takes a lot of passion, as well as talent, to play many concerts around clubs and in the meantime work.
The concert experience and the continuous desire to improve, led the band to release two really good EPs like Honest Man in 2017 and You Can Find Me in a Honkytonk in 2019.
I love to know and tell the stories of these artists who, from middle school or high school when they had to perform on the floor of some pickup truck or in the school gym, through passion, tenacity, talent and even a bit of luck (whatever you say it takes her too) they open concerts of Ward Davis, Steel Woods or Drake White.
I have been following for more than 8 years now the parables of these independent American musicians and when I see that finally the audience is aware of their talent with locations for more and more concerts, sold-out and sharing the stage with famous artists (who have made the same journey before and who in this independent world are looking forward to helping those “new”), my heart is filled with joy.
Even more if I discovered them when not even in the United States were still known.
Cody Ikerd & the Sidewinders‘ debut album, this Dreamers Like Me, is not long: 7 pieces for 25 minutes of music, but there is no wasted minute, no second you wish they hadn’t put on this record.
To understand the direction of the music of these guys just play the first Moonshiner: it’s pure Southern sound, what I love. Guitar swaying slide, crushing thoughts, light electrical and an intense and warm voice.
The electric guitar is southern, dragged and swampy. We find ourselves on the streets that have traced the great current of the genre, Blackberry Smoke on all. The solo is beautiful.
Guitars & Whiskey is what it sounds like from the title: a southern rock song that will unleash the clubs where these guys will perform. The guitar riff cuts through the air like a murderer, and the rhythm moves around the speakers. Cody’s voice is perfect for this music, the guy studied from the greats and then another guitar solo to lick his chops. Beautiful, beautiful!
You wanted the country influence in their sound? Here goes Losing My Mind, a beautiful country rock track with pedal-steel that takes us to Texas with that sound very inspired by the golden age of the 70s.
The title-track is a ballad that the violin drags towards that melancholy flavor that country ballads have. I really like the voice of Cody Ikerd absolutely at ease in the role of the rocker, but that in these melancholy and sweet songs fits perfectly.
Really super performance even of the band for a piece that would be to listen in a nice live in some legendary club like Gruene Hall or Luckenabach.
The record in practice is divided between a first part very southern and a second part that pays duty to the country influences of the great and the band is mastering these two genres really excellently. Talent when it’s there is.
A really remarkable debut for a band that creates a nice and credible mix of two genres very dear to me: country and southern rock. A journey from the streets of Texas to the countryside of Georgia, passing through Louisiana, but having in mind the Florida of the Lynyrd Skynyrd, if I had to give a geographical indication would be this.
Only note, if I have to make one, is that with this talent in songwriting, the good Cody Ikerd could have given us other pieces and at this point I can not wait for you to return to a recording studio and create new music: There’s never enough of that.
Thanks to Rick for letting me know and I hope that someone can now thank me for letting him know.
Trex Willer by http://www.ticinonotizie.it
(in Ticino Notizie web site you can find original italian version of this article)