Read Southall can sure turn a phrase. “This record is the gasoline for the love machine,” he says of his band’s new album, the exhilarating and self-titled Southall. The proud Oklahoma working man isn’t exaggerating. The record sparks and burns with 11 crank-it-up songs that expertly combine country, rock & roll, and the dust and grit of the band’s nativeRed Dirt scene.
Produced by Eddie Spear (Zach Bryan’s American Heartbreak) and recorded at Leon Russell’s iconic Church Studio in Tulsa, Southall manifests the true band album that singer Read Southall first envisioned when he released his debut, Six String Sorrow, in 2015. That was a mostly acoustic record, but Southall, the band’s fourth album, roars with raw and loud collaborative power. Reid Barber, the group’s resident metalhead, hammers his drums. Bassist Jeremee Knipp provides a brooding low end. Keys player Braxton Curliss adds both tasteful accents and off-the-rails barroom piano. And guitarists John Tyler Perry and Ryan Wellman wring wild sounds from their instruments. All of it is tied together by Southall’s scrappy, yearning voice.