There are bands that you discover almost by chance, wandering on independent American music sites and become part of you. They take your soul, as I often say. That’s what happened to me when I ran into Shane Smith and the Saints band from Austin, Texas. I’m one of those bands that when I listen to them I always wonder how they don’t have a planetary success, then I think it’s probably for the best. God forbid the music business tries to cage the overflowing talent of these 5 guys. The general public has noticed them lately because they had the honor to appear in one of the episodes of the TV series Yellowstone (created by the legendary Taylor Sheridan and with, among others, Kevin Costner, ed.), that for me does the job that should do the radio and that is to introduce independent artists, but trust already before this episode, Shane Smith and his Saints were well known by lovers of country music and American rock. The concerts are legendary, American friends tell me of explosives performances they attended (this year they also took part in the Firewater Festival organized by Whiskey Myers) but they had never put on record this live energy. And the fans had been asking for years for a live show that contained all this. But the band is unconventional, it has inventiveness and originality, their sound is there to prove it : an explosive mix of country, rock, bluegrass, blues, original and unclassifiable. So the live that they decided to give their fans was recorded in the desert of West Texas, a movie landscape, between bushes mountains and rattlesnakes as spectators. So we don’t have the energy of the audience (for this there are thousands of videos quite explicit on Youtube, it’s worth going to see them) but the energy of these guys if there is! An unstoppable river, but also a love for the melody that intertwines with the violin, the guitars that whizz along with the rhythmic now tight now sweet, an emotional roller coaster that is difficult to describe. Shane Smith and the Saints have reached the third record before this live and have already recorded classics that will remain in the history of independent American music, one record more beautiful than the other, after listening to this live go and discover them. Trust me. The album for now is available only in digital version and is divided into two parts: a live “electric” let’s say and is the one recorded outdoors in the desert and the other acoustic recorded inside the church of the ghost town of Terlingua, Texas because the band and crew had been surprised by a devastating storm. It starts with a powerful adrenaline rush, the Intro immediately takes, shakes you and the violin of Bennett Brown is an electric discharge, he is a virtuoso (in this they look very much like the Turnpike Troubadours that have in the violin of Kyle Nix one of their secrets) and takes the soundtrack of Last of the Mohicans and turns it into an exciting country rock ride. The band is no exception and the guitar of Dustin Schaefer beyond that of Shane, the drums of Zach Stover, the bass of Chase Satterwhite unleash hell in the Texas desert. An instrumental piece that would be worth it alone to make you listen to this record. But then the Mountain chorus starts and you realize that every song will be of that level. The song, in addition to a poetic and intense text, is a country rock that shakes from the foundations, guitar and violin follow each other supported by a tight rhythmic in the bridge, the intense and powerful dark voice of Shane Smith do the rest. An epic and addictive song in a creepy version. The second piece is the one that appeared in Yellowstone to which he gave the title of an episode, All I See Is You and the intensity is not lowered rather if possible sprints to the other. The fiddle introduces a piece that the voice accompanies in an intro that looks like a delicate ballad but then explodes in a quick song, a ride between rock and bluegrass supports a text that speaks of love, but then comes the guitar solo and then you reach a remarkable climax. These guys can play like no other and have an enviable originality. It is tempting to push the repeat button but there is no respite when it begins another song with an epic flavor, a rock track dedicated to the city of New Orleans, Hurricane, a cover but that seems a song of the band so successful. The voice goes inside the soul, digs going to the bottom helped by the choirs and when it seems a song in which the instrumentation is in the background, the song explodes in an incendiary ensemble. Beautiful is to say the least. The End is an American country rock song if we want to catalog it, but it doesn’t have a definite genre, these guys have their own style, the choirs, the violin, the rhythmic rhythm, a bit bluegrass, a bit rock, almost country, many emotions. The voice of the frontman fits perfectly and in this song gives the best performance of the live without a doubt. The tracks of the electric part follow each other fast and exciting, Parliament Smoke is exciting, whipping, with a groove that does not do prisoners and what about Hail Mary? A track even here of an epic that you wouldn’t expect to find in an Austin country rock band but it is so. An epic ride, the intense and powerful voice, the choirs, the text with religious connotations, the guitars that embrace the violins. Exciting indeed. The electric set closes with another jewel track : Little Bird. A ballad that the violin enriches with unique emotions, but it is always the voice to enter under skin accompanying us in a beautiful poetry of love and loss, passion and memories. One of the most beautiful lyrics of the band, but they wrote so many beautiful ones. Never banal, never needlessly dull, always true. The acoustic section is not lacking in intensity, it only removes the electric discharge of the guitars but the emotions flow the same impetuous, as in the delicate and melancholic Quite Like You or in the beautiful Runaway Train, where the author gives us another country love poem set in the eventful life on the road that will be the journey of his career. Emotions that continue until another peak of the record (if ever there was a low part) and that is the cover of the great Townes Van Zandt, Pancho & Lefty. There’s also the Youtube video of the song, look at it. A piece that played in this church in Terlingua, regains the western mysticism that was in the idea of Van Zandt and the skillful talent of this band borders on perfection and is perhaps one of the most beautiful versions ever heard of this song. It’s arrived at the end of this 2021 and I can assure you that it’s one of the most amazing and beautiful records of this year. Original, fresh, exciting and never banal. If you think about where and how it was recorded then you can listen to it with your eyes closed and imagine yourself in the desert of West Texas dreaming with these 5 guys from the uncommon talent, the living example that in Texas you always discover great music and the reservoir of talent seems inexhaustible. After this record, listen to their 3 records including Geronimo of 2015, in my opinion one of the most beautiful records of the last 20 years and new classic of American music.
Trex Willer by http://www.ticinonotizie.it
(you can find original italian article at this link : https://www.ticinonotizie.it/shane-smith-and-the-saints-live-from-the-desert-2021-by-trex-roads/ )