As a lover of UK football (soccer to American readers), the thrill of seeing a thunderbolt blitz the back of the net stirs up quite a furore. With their new breed of feel good Southern Rock, the Georgia Thunderbolts recall and refresh the boogie licks and anthemic riffs of royalty commonly associated with the genre on their debut long-player Can I Get A Witness.
Rather than just tip their hat to the likes of Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers, this humble yet indomitable five-piece outfit breathe new life into that soulful southern spirit through their unerring confidence and hard-edged musicianship.
“Take It Slow” races out the traps and exudes the conviction one would expect from the mass of facial hair, anarchic harmonica and rollocking dual guitars that drive this unstoppable opener.
If you like your dirty riffs with extra sides and a liberal dollop of swagger, then “Lend A Hand” will deep-fry the hearts of all groove aficionados. Not only does it have a deeply contagious chorus, but it also channels the monolithic sound of classic rock – a Gibson Les Paul through a Marshall.
“So You Wanna Change The World” sends out a positive message and is one of few ballads thrown to the jury. It’s comparable to entering a home that instantly feels warm and inviting.
“Spirit Of A Working Man” embodies all the unpretentious qualities and hardworking DNA of the Thunderbolts. Singer TJ Lyle brings an incredible combination of passion and power to his smoky delivery, backed by a howling hook and drums that are consistently mammoth and bombastic.
Their cover of “Midnight Rider” by the Allman Brothers is given a heavy upgrade through distortion and a thumping rhythm section. Another flaming bluesy solo from Riley Couzzourt ensures this ‘road goes on forever’, both melodiously and lyrically.
“Dancing With The Devil” is seductively beat driven and takes to the floor with a bass line that ebbs and flows. Ending with seven glorious minutes of “Set Me Free”, this could well prove to be the Thunderbolts’ crowd-pleasing gem. Showcasing a more deliberate and slower side to the band, Lyle wails in the style of an emotionally charged Paul Rodgers over moody fretwork and pulsating keys.
The Georgia Thunderbolts have managed to reinvent the classic rock wheel, whilst still paying homage to its history. Guilty of epic storytelling, being charismatic and with the potential of inspiring a southern rock renaissance – I’m more than happy to be a witness.
The Review: 8.5/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Take It Slow
– Lend A Hand
– Looking For An Old Friend
– Spirit Of A Working Man
– Set Me Free
The Big Hit
– Set Me Free