Tyler Bryant And The Shakedown are a formidable modern blues rock band based in Nashville, Tennessee. The band features guitarist and vocalist Tyler Bryant, Caleb Crosby on drums, Ryan Fitzgerald on bass, and Graham Whitford on guitar. Together, they have established themselves as one of the genre’s most important groups in recent years, having released successful and critically acclaimed albums, in addition to having opened to gargantuan acts such as Guns N’ Roses, AC/DC and Aerosmith. In an effort to obtain more control of their creative output, the band has recently started Rattlesnake Records, their very own label. And to celebrate this milestone, they have just released their fifth full-length album: Shake The Roots.
Produced by Bryant (and featuring Larkin Poe’s Rebecca Lovell providing backing vocals), the album, as its title implies, is directed toward the origins and roots of the Shakedown’s sound, which results in an extremely organic outing, with striking nuances of blues, country and bluegrass, but still retaining the group’s trademark heavy-rock barrage of sound. And despite this retro-styled approach, Shake The Roots is far from being outdated or anachronistic, as the band made an effort to add modern and even slightly unconventional elements to the mix.
The album starts off with the stinging slide and foot-stomping rhythm of the bluegrass-oriented cut “Bare Bones”, which is then similarly followed by the catchy bite of “Ain’t None Watered Down” and its distinctive resonator riff. Things go down a heavier path as “Ghost Rider” kicks into high gear with its vigorous fuzzy riffs and modern, indie rock-like tone and feel. “Roots”, on the other hand, features a strong country flavor, which is used by Bryant to recollect his origins and early musical influences.
“Hard Learned” takes a calmer approach with its more sparse instrumentation, western atmosphere, and subdued vocals before the monstrous riffs of “Shackles” come into play. The song’s slower tempo, distortion-heavy, staccato riffage, and caustic soloing are reminiscent of Black Sabbath’s early sound. “Tennessee” is the group’s tribute to the warm state they made their home while the southern rock number “Midnight Oil” closes the album.
Revisiting the band’s essence and origins while continuing to offer something engaging and fresh, Shake The Roots further cements Tyler Bryant And The Shakedown’s status as one of the acts that make up both the present and future of blues and roots-based rock music. Definitely, a must listen for any fan of the genre.
The Review: 8.5/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Bare Bones
– Ain’t None Watered Down
– Ghost Rider
– Hard Learned
The Big Hit
– Ghost Rider