The Cadillac Three take southern rock to the max in “Legacy.” (Facebook Photo)

Street Sounds: Down-home rock

Nashville’s a-rockin’ these days

Nashville’s a-rockin’ these days.

The Cadillac Three’s third album, Legacy is southern rock to the max with lots of back porch twang for good measure. They don’t mess around — songs are short, punchy, and party friendly. Jaren Johnston, Kelby Ray, and Neil Mason hone in on raw sounds, evoking the tough character of outlaw country rock.

Slick it ain’t, but the phasers, loud volume and tremolo-laden humbucker guitars speak loud and clear.

The Cadillac Three have the rowdy character that the early Kings of Leon revelled in, but they rein that in. The result is gritty humour and moments of abandon.

They’re tapped into the grey area between tongue-in-cheek and serious with tracks like Love Me Like Liquor and Hank & Jesus (with lines like “I was baptized in a whiskey fountain”). They take pride in cranking up the clichés along with the odd atmospheric ballad or two (Demolition Man, Legacy).

The joys of down-home culture and backwoods life are summed up in Ain’t that Country (“It ain’t always pretty/Sometimes you gotta get your hands dirty”). Such is the charm of Legacy.

The Cadillac Three are clever and bare bones rocking — more so than a lot of recent rock music. Their sound is distilled down to pure grit and thump with the occasional fiery solo roaring through. There’s nothing fancy, and Legacy leaches out bombast to bring on some Motor City Detroit drive to their Tennessee sound.

–Dean Gordon-Smith is a Vernon-based musician who reviews the latest music releases in his column, Street Sounds, every Friday.