BY: ROBB WILLIAMSON
For those of you who are connoisseurs of Southern Rock, do I have a treat for you! There is a band in Louisiana that is making some big noise north of the Big Easy called Louisiana Swamp Donky. (LSD…tongue-in-cheek? Ain’t asking!)
The best way to describe this band is to take a little bit of country, a whole lot of rock, and mix it in a big crab boil pot with a helluva lot of Southern flavoring. These guys – Eric Shively, Greg McHam, Keith Godfrey, Kevin Davis and Leif Shively – have a work-hard/play-harder-type attitude. Literally, jump in when you can and HOLD ON!
Straight off, there is no denying the Southern roots of Louisiana Swamp Donky, as the band draws from a very deep well of influences – definitely worth the time to listen. The music of the band is Blue Collar to the core, a true collection of real life stories of experiences.
The band’s debut album, Redneck Revival, has been out for quite some time, but I want everyone to know about these guys because THEY ARE THAT GOOD! Redneck Revival consists of eight songs of hell-raising, Southern Rock, Country Boy know-how!
The ‘Donky kicks it off with “Southern Way,” a raucous, hard-driving song that literally takes no prisoners. In a nutshell: “Where there’s a will, there’s a Southern Way.”
“Dirt Po” definitely holds the hooks of a true Southern classic that is reminiscent of Lynyrd Skynrd and The Outlaws. Not as hard driving as “Southern Way,” but I’ll take it – it’s still guaranteed to please the ears. It is followed by “Whiskey,” which has such a low-down-and-dirty groove to it; it would make even a headbanger take notice. It is a highly-infectious song that is sure to become a favorite track from the album.
“Kentucky” offers a softer side of the band, as it is more along the lines of a story-telling ballad that boasts great lyrical content. It actually takes the listener on a journey and makes you long for that Bluegrass State. “Home,” on the other hand, has a more of a modern sound, with a bit of a pop flare. This is probably the lone song on the entire album that seems out of place, but it is good nonetheless.
I have to say that the beginning guitar riffs of “Redneck Revival” personally reminded me of The Black Crowes. But, once the vocals begin, it takes you to a different place, only to land you in the church of Southern Rock for a pure Redneck Revival. Then you have “Red Worm,” yet another hell-raising song about drinking – what else – moonshine! Can’t have an album from a Southern band without an ode to moonshine now, can we? And it is done well.
The band finishes the album with “It Goes On.” This song might be deemed a ballad, but the emotion expressed in the vocals tells you that this is the real deal. All of the pain, loss, memories and sorrows just pour out effortlessly.
Overall, Redneck Revival rates 4 out of 5 stars and is a must have for the hardcore Southern Rock fan. Individually and as a band, these guys are authentic and proficient in their music abilities, and you can tell by the passion in the vocals that these songs are personal. The result is an album of foot stompin’, Southern-fried, Gator Rock!
And, as an update: Louisiana Swamp Donky has released a new single that will be on its forthcoming album. That single is called “Southern Home,” and man, is it a real barn-burner, with a heavier edge! If this is any indication of what’s to come on the next album, then sign me up!