The Georgia Thunderbolts give raw and rootsy Southern Rock & Soul a good name.
Release Date: 15th October 2021
Label: Mascot Records
Format: CD / digital / LP
Can We Get A Witness – in which The Georgia Thunderbolts prove there’s nothing like good old dose of squealing Southern Rock. Make that Southern Rock & Soul as these thirteen tracks (fourteen if you go for the vinyl option) ooze liberal doses of inspirational clout.
Strutting and swaggering out of the blocks, the power packing Take It Slow sets the scene. A mere aperitif for what’s to follow. The pace is sleazy, the lyric fitting the bill, financial hardship and the philosophy of ‘no rush, no worries’ plus the first of a series of lead breaks that cut and slice yet with a rough edge. The description of themselves as “determined. hardworking and humble,” is right on the mark. A description that carries through the album like the letters on a stick of Blackpool rock.
You can add faith, determination and desire to that description – one that goes perfectly with the title track. The spirit of the workin’ man, as in the song of the same name, is a strong and motivational force. Inspirational choruses pepper the songs; “lend a hand to me when you feel down” accompanied by a searing solo is easily as stadium friendly as anything that’s emerged from the Bon Jovi/mass appeal stadium rock stable.
On top of the go-to staples of Hard Southern Rock, there are diversions into areas more bluesy and areas where the acoustic guitar makes an appearance as a canvas on which some nice slide guitar lines can, erm, slide over. And then the album closer, Set Me Free, which abandons the straight to the point format for a wander through extended arrangement territory.
Astute fans may recognise the faithful version of Frankie Miller’s Be Good To Yourself. It’s a selection that’s basically the sound of The Georgia Thunderbolts having fun before they get back to the semi-serious business.. Some like me may have their memories banks deeply raided by the visions of him performing Darlin’ on Top Of The Pops or delivering a throaty Paul Rodgers-style strut somewhere along the line.
That semi-serious business gets back on track with the might of the title track, some honking harp decorating a deep groove on Half Glass Woman while Midnight Rider is built on a terrific riff packed with sustain and and driven by a cool and hefty stomp. It’s a riff that you could listen to and groove on all day. Ditto It’s Alright – no nonsense with results.
As the song goes, if you’re in need of some inspiration, the devil might not care, but you can rely on The Georgia Thunderbolts for inspiration in shovel fulls, with Can We Get A Witness as your soundtrack.
Here’s Take It Slow from the album: