Roadhouse – 2000 Miles: Album Review

First release in six years from Roadhouse – heavy on the desperation, disaster and redemption.

Release Date: 25th November 2022

Label: Dark Road Rekords

Format: CD / digital

The word Roadhouse immediately conjures up a rolling wave of images. Patrick Swayze’s film of a rundown redneck joint that needs ‘sorting out’ for starters, but most would visualize one of those very bars; dusty, rustic, whisky check shirts and a certain band playing in the corner. Possibly behind a chicken wire mesh to protect them from any flying detritus from brawling punters…yes, back to the Swayze film again….and maybe a band in the corner who has that certain sound.

However, avoiding any potential pitfalls, you can now slap 2000 Miles into the music player of your choice and enjoy. And 2000 Miles passes the Simon Cowell ’30 second’ test. Within half a minute of the opening cut, 2000 Miles On The Road, we know we’re in for the duration and the CD isn’t destined for recycling into duty as a drink coaster or bird scarer. The “quality dark Americans/Blues/Rock” billing fulfils its potential immediately. Pumping and powerful with plenty of gritty vocals that the journey of the hog-tired pilgrim in search of the truth and soul-cleansing holy water. Stirring stuff particularly when the returning Kelly Marie forms a dynamic vocal duo with Mandie G.

Fed and fuelled by some challenging personal trials and tribulations, the music navigates some dark and ominous waters, adversity is overcome and a sense of celebration is the order of the day. Resurrection Man offers up a similar blast of fervent Rock, U2-Desire style, riffs flying thick and fast, vocal lines and slashing chords calling and responding dutifully. Not content to repeat a formula, the extended guitar solo gives an indication that the one-trick pony isn’t at home. Proof comes via several sources. A couple of variations on Believe feature acoustic guitar heavily, the Mandie/Robin version adding a touch of lovely mournful slide guitar from ‘the legendary’ Robin Bibi and a slightly more polished vocal. The Truth sees the same acoustic template revisited, blood on the desert in the lyric and, it’s a melancholy low key offering.

An energetic funky groove, some might say Hendrix-ian or Prince-like, provides the energy for Steamboat Song along with some Mississippi jive and judder; one that you can possibly imagine Steven Tyler belting out and which contrasts with the more standard blues tempo on Death Of The Blues. The latter is suitably languid with a hypnotic guitar figure that holds the piece together while the blues licks and mourning weave in and out.

The Crying Of The Wolf brings things to a close with a lengthy workout, the likes of which has been hinted at throughout the album. A broody guitar slinger of a tune that has a hint of the Zep’s Thank You in the intro, especially in the guitar lines and when the drums come in. Running towards, but not crossing the nine-minute mark, it’s an epic on which to bow out and set a satisfying seal on a sometimes raucous, sometimes sensitive, roadhouse workhorse of an album.

Here’s some live footage of the band from Daxtonbury Festival in July 2022:

Roadhouse online: Website

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