Bonafide (2017)

For those who find lack of axe chatter by Blackberry Smoke or a too much eclectic and modern « Southern Country Rock » to their credit by Whiskey Meyers, try an antidote from Sacramento, California, you will not be disappointed. Formed in 2012, The Cripple Creek Band hits with « Bonafide », their second ten-song album, a melodic « Southern Country Rock Honky Tonk » while being vigorous, ready to do the things better than the Southerners. Its musical universe claims to have influences that hit the bull’s eye like Allman Bros, Skynyrd, Charlie Daniels Band, The Band, The Eagles, Merle Haggard, Hank Williams Jr and Waylon Jennings. We think in accordance with the Dallas Moore Band, or Montgomery Gentry's most Southern album « You Do Your Thing » from 2004, a label that can be found on this « Bonafide » album title that starts the record. At its listening, we are immediately conquered, we find the subtlety elaborated in the Charlie Daniels Band’s « Powder Keg » of 1987: some high-flying « Southern Country Rock », with in the sound on the top of that that modern side where reigns the tonicity, applied by combos like Blackberry Smoke, Jennings Shooter, Flynnville Train, Cathouse Prophets... The next one, « Bud Light Night », swings like a madman with a whining bottleneck and his cheerful piano between Skynyrd and Charlie Daniels Band. A hot breeze Eagles-like spreads on the Country Rock « Cold In California ». We enter the Mason Dixon Line with as violin intro the hymn of the Southern Confederation « Dixie »! « I Heart The Music » goes up in intensity to finally shine with grace, then a good cover of The Band with the unalterable « The Weight », and we start again on the convincing with « Steady At The Wheel » where the guitars are twisting and turning, ideal for ears darkened at Skynyrd, Charlie Daniels, Outlaws... A lull with Dylanian Country Folk with Blackberry Smoke hints on « Stand My Ground » before the Boogie « Outlaws Rebels And Me », close to Hank Williams Jr, gives really itchy feet. More restraint with the superb mid-tempo « All About The Music » and its bursts of guitar harmonies, punchy finale on « Comin' in Hot » always in this "Country Rebel" style dear to Hank Williams Jr and David Alan Coe. It is also good to tell you that on its first album of 2015, The Cripple Creek Band very skilfully covers Skynrd’s « Four Walls of Raiford » via the album « Legend » of 1987, highly recommended.

Jacques Dersigny

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