Caleb Johnson and the Ramblin’ Saints: Born From Southern Ground Review

Caleb Johnson is best known for winning season 13 of American Idol. Following his Idol win, Johnson released his debut album, Testify, which was not the album he really wanted to make. Born From Southern Ground (released on his own label) took Johnson nearly four years to complete and the result is one of the best rock records of 2019.

The album opens with “Hanging On,” which has a slow, building Hammond organ intro. Then Caleb starts up about 35 seconds in and then a powerful chorus breaks just over the minute mark. “Solid Gold” is next which has a bluesy slide intro and was co-written by Jay Buchanan of Rival Sons and Blair Daily. Johnson really belts on this rocker. “Sugar” is another single which features funk swagger before we roll into “Born And Raised,” a track with southern rock flare featuring female backing vocals that really help lift the chorus.

Johnson shows a lot of versatility on the album. “Better Off Alone” is a soulful ballad. Things slow down a bit on “Blind,” a track where Caleb really shows off his vocal range. “Hanging With The Band” has a timeless sound reminiscing about good times. There is also an acoustic version of the song featured.

From start to finish, Born From Southern Ground is good ole’ fashioned rock n’ roll. Johnson proves himself as an elite singer and a strong songwriter to boot. Born From Southern Ground is a wonderful blend of rock, blues, roots, and soul.

The Review: 9/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Holding On
– Solid Gold
– Sugar
– Born And Raised
– Hanging With The Band

The Big Hit

– Solid Gold

Review by Pete Francis

Buy the album: Amazon | Amazon UK

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