Album Review: The Steel Woods – Old News

The Steel Woods are a hard and heavy group of Southern rockers hailing from Nashville, Tennessee who have a perfected sound that kits you like a jackhammer to the skull. Their latest album Old News is anything but its namesake – it is an earnest country-blues-rock album of unfathomable power that will leave your head swirling and your heart thumping.

The group open their album with the virulently commanding song All of These Years; a song that not only introduces their unique powerhouse performances and raw, unkempt nature that seems to split the earth but it also retains a fairly heartfelt message that we could all listen to as the years go by. In the song the group suggest that the fastest way to lose your youth is to try and hold on to it – it’s a cracking concept from a band who are announcing to the world their own determination to grow old either gracefully or indeed disgracefully, but never regretting a moment. Their unique brand of rock has a more upbeat element that one might expect and Old News is a heavy but versatile album that has so much more to it than lost loves and days gone by. The Steel Woods seem to buck a trend and breathe fresh life into a genre that at times has been oversaturated.

With that being said however, the band still have a perfectly honed and distinguished sound that seems to be a classical throwback to the likes of ZZ Top and also undeniably their own. They have a wealthy collection of 15 songs on Old News that ranges from the soulful tenderness of the likes of Changes all the way through heavy, harsh songs like Blind Lover and over to playful sounding and gospel The Catfish Song. They display their softer side but they also coincide this with a flurry of resonant drumbeats, smooth and stunning slide guitar medleys, deep and resounding bass lines alongside wavering harmonica solos and apocalyptical organ work. The depth and power that they hold within their songs makes each and every song seem like the energetic encore at the end of a show and their sound can send you stomping or swaying in equal measure.

The Steel Woods are a group who quite simply accomplish everything that they set out to. Despite their luxurious sound they don’t fill their songs with the whistles and bells that are so prevalent these days. They keep their songs simple and just concentrate on playing some good old fashioned Southern rock and they do it perfectly. Old News is an album that should bring country rock back to the main stage of the music scene.

Here are the dates for the Steel Woods’ upcoming tour:

January 18 – Nashville, TN @ 3rd & Lindsley
January 19 – Nashville, TN @ 3rd & Lindsley
January 23 – Oxford, MS @ Proud Larry’s
January 24 – Athens, GA @ 40 Watt Club
January 25 – Birmingham, AL @ Zydeco
January 26 – Nashville, TN @ Grand Ole Opry
January 31 – Chattanooga, TN @ Songbyrds
February 1 – Chattanooga, TN @ Songbyrds
February 2 – Bowling Green, KY @ The Warehouse
February 7 – Columbus, OH @ The Basement
February 8 – Covington, KY @ Madison Theatre
February 9 – Asheville, NC @ Grey Eagle
February 14 – Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom
February 15 – Peoria, IL @ Crusen’s
February 16 – Chicago, IL @ Carol’s Pub
February 21 – Flint, MI @ The Machine Shop
February 22 – Flora, IL @ Johnny & June’s
February 23 – Indianapolis, IN @ Hi-Fi Indy
February 28 –  Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West
March 2 – Johnson City, TN @ Capone’s

More info at: https://thesteelwoods.com/

Review by Joe Knipe

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