I’ve always been a fan of Confederate Railroad’s (CRR) blend of southern rock and country. Danny Shirley’s raspy southern drawl isn’t hard to distinguish and the band’s instrumentation immediately draws you in. A lot has changed on the musical front in the last nine years since the band’s last release. However, Confederate Railroad stays true to its roots with Lucky To Be Alive.

I was pretty anxious to hear the album, but had a bit of leeriness the band would conform to newer customs of the industry. I’m glad they didn’t! Lucky To Be Alive is raw and gritty and features real instrumentation. No loops here! If you’re an older fan of CRR, then you’ll absolutely love this album as I do!

The album is refreshing for true country fans. From the eerie Lynyrd Skynyrd-esque opener of the mid-tempo title track to the acoustic bluegrass closer, “Don’t Feel As Young As I Used To,” the album is full of rockers and ballads that are sure to please your ears. There are some more traditional country tracks like “Played The Game” and “The Man I Am Today” that wouldn’t fare too well on modern country stations but would fit right in with George Jones and Merle Haggard.

A 20th anniversary (more like 24th) re-recording of the band’s smash 1992 smash “Trash Women” is included on the album. CRR teams up with Willie Nelson, John Anderson and Colt Ford to give the track a modern makeover. Despite a rap Ford wrote specifically for this version, that I could’ve done without myself personally, the song still holds up as a southern rocker after all these years. Anderson and Nelson trade verses while Shirley sings the chorus. Former NFL coach, Jerry Glanville makes a cameo during the track.

Other standout tracks include the southern rockers “Goodbye Song” and “Fast Cars And Guitars And Fine Tuned Women” that features Charlie Daniels on the fiddle. The band still shows their comedic side on “The Man I Am Today” and “Psycho Bitch From Hell.”

Overall the album is my kind of country: a little country and a lot of rock and roll! I’m glad CRR aren’t selling out and are playing their brand of country their way! They may not have the major label support they did 20 years ago, but they don’t need it! If radio will just give this album a chance, country radio and the entire industry may have still have a prayer left!

The album is due out on July 15th so do yourselves a favor and pick it up.