Artist Spotlight

Review: Shotgun Wedding, “South of Somewhere”

No Comments 10 April 2016

Review: Shotgun Wedding, “South of Somewhere”

“The theatricality and musical inventiveness of South of Somewhere hearkens back to a vintage style that celebrates the unique country artist, it’s almost as if Shotgun Wedding stepped straight out of another time and place. There’s a restless, swaggering charisma that pervades this record, and it’s quite disarming.”

Artist: Shotgun Wedding

Album: South of Somewhere

Genre: Country / Rock

RIYL: Asleep at the Wheel, Shooter Jennings, Zac Brown Band, Billy Joel

Shotgun Wedding - South of Somewhere

Well, this is unexpected. A northeast, New York-based country band. It doesn’t take long to find yourself in the midst of a piano-rock-country musicfest that rivals anything I’ve heard come out of the Heart of Dixie in years. Shotgun Wedding is a collection of seasoned musicians who have done their time everywhere from the Broadway stage to touring as part of Billy Joel’s band. That piano rock, theatrical background serves each of the members of this accomplished quintet well here, pulling from all four corners of the musical universe to create something that truly sounds fresh and new within the country realm. South of Somewhere is essentially a city slicker perspective for a country record.

At times, I could almost see this playing out on stage as part of larger production - the songs are incredibly well-structured and rely solely on the talents of their creators, who do not hold back but do hold each other up. The piano and guitar work alone are worth the price of admission and play well with each other trading off lead over the course of the record. Fearless leader Dennis DelGaudio (vocals/guitars) and Wade Preston (piano/vocals) most certainly propel the musicality forward; but it’s Catherine Porter’s vocals that steal the show with each turn at the lead. Her crystal clear delivery and emotional performance shines.

Opening track “City Boy” could be considered a wake-up call if you find yourself in a music-listening rut. The piano, bass lines (Andy Cichon) and driving percussion (provided by the incredibly talented Chuck Burgi) are relentless in their pursuit to win you over. And you will succumb. “The Answer” successfully follows this group effort with our first lead vocal from Porter, and she is built for the spotlight. “Hurtin’ Songs” and the equally compelling “Ain’t Gonna Break My Heart” capture the always classic heartbreak and lyin’ cheatin’ storyline that provides the hallmark to any great country record.

The theatricality and musical inventiveness of South of Somewhere hearkens back to a vintage style that celebrates the unique country artist, it’s almost as if Shotgun Wedding stepped straight out of another time and place. There’s a restless, swaggering charisma that pervades this record, and it’s quite disarming. As they state, “No matter where you live, we’re all south of somewhere.” This is a technically proficient and inspired album that will have you tapping your toes while shaking your head with amusement and appreciation.


Shotgun Wedding: http://www.shotgunweddingnyc.com/

 

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