The six member band launched their new tour at the Fillmore on Feb 17th
There are some bands for whom their early fans foretell their fortune. This is the case with Whiskey Myers. The band played their first concert since December to a sold out crowd in the Silver Springs, MD suburb of Washington, DC as they kick off their Is A Comin’ Tour.
The group is led by Cody Cannon. Cannon’s unassuming, everyman-at-a-Starbucks presence belays a powerful soul-filled southern rock voice. You would never know he can work over a mic stand like a Texas Steven Tyler. He’s also a killer guitar player.
Make no mistake though, this band operates as a total unit. The five other members consist of percussionist and keyboardist Tony Kent, drummer Jeff Hogg, bassist Jamey Gleaves, guitarist John Jeffers, and guitar/lap/slide player Cody Tate. Jeffers and Tate also feature on lead vocals. The former rendered a sass-laden version of Whiskey Myers’ “Bitch,” while Tate delivered a near-perfect cover of ZZ Top’s seminal “La Grange.” He even has the beard for it. Billy and Dusty would be proud.
The set made evident to from whom the group takes inspiration. From the reference to Charlie Daniels’ anthem “Simple Man” in their song “Ballad of a Southern Man,” to the Allman-Betts-like jamming on “Early Morning Shakes,” it is clear where this Texas-bred band gets its ingredients.
But those ingredients combine to form something different. Whiskey Myers has not had the hard-lived life of the Charlie Daniels band. Nor are they as self-obsessed with their own playing as Betts and company (who can drag out a song for dozens of minutes). No, they represent something different in southern rock. They are a new wave of traditionalists who have created an addictively new sound that still treds down the path forged by their predecessors.
Perhaps that newness can be found in the hooks of their music. Each song has its own character. That character is driven by a distinctive groove, allowing the crowd at the Fillmore to recognize each number within notes of its start. It is this addictively listenable music that has steadily grown the group’s fanbase of the years. Recently, exposure on several episodes of the mega-hit Paramount Network series Yellowstone has accelerated Whiskey Myers’ rise to stardom.
Take for instance rungy number “Mud,” made famous by the Paramount Network series, talks of a farmer wanting to stay on his land. While “How Far” is told from the point of view of a man leaving home to chase after the love of his life. The slow and sultry “Bury my Bones” contrasts perfectly with redneckified “On the River.”
The crowd at the Fillmore showed up knowing every single word to every song. As Whiskey Myers continues to deepen their catalog of unmistakable southern rock, they will gather more and more legions of fans who cling to every word and every note. And in 40 years, the whole world might be singing “Ballad of a Southern Man” the same as we do “Simple Man.” The Whiskey faithful already do.