They call themselves The Twang Bangers. I still think that’s a strange name for this local band. But that name isn’t as important as the name this group is making for themselves in country music. I’ve seen them live, I’ve listened to their music before. I’ve shared their show with you through pictures in a previous article. I even did a feature on this group for our local newspaper.
Tonight, I had an opportunity to listen to their new CD, titled Part Two. Wes Holtsclaw, lead singer for the band, told me the CD will officially launch on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Spotify and Rhapsody on Saturday, February 2. The Twang Bangers will have a CD Release party at Capone’s in Johnson City, Tenn., at 10 p.m. on Feb. 2. We don’t know who their opening act will be yet, but it’s going to be a great show.
The album is a good mix of fast and slow; traditional country and today’s country – Midnight Train is more of a country/rock song than traditional country. It’s the perfect music for a club, or somewhere you might want to hang out with friends on a Saturday night. I really liked the slower one that followed, it’s titled 12 Steps. I like the story, I like the melody, I like that it is more ‘traditional country’ than a lot of what this band does. The song is what you would expect – kicking habits, drinking, smoking, he’s “kicked all his bad habits, except for you.” This one is good country music.
The third track, Back Home (Tennessee) is another fast one, and sounds a lot like what we’re getting on Top 40 country stations these days. If I had to pick a song for The Twang Bangers to release to radio, this would probably be the one I would pick.This was the song I found myself listening to more than once.
Still Ain’t Lonely is sitting in the fourth spot on the track list. It’s another slower song. And it’s another really good song. It’s back to ‘traditional country’. But don’t get too comfortable! As soon as that one finishes, it’s time to get up and start stompin’ around to Saturday Drunk. this one is really a high-energy song, and the kind of song you hear and just know you want to go watch this band perform live.
“I ain’t alone, if you count misery, but he don’t keep the best of friends. They party hard and pick me up all through the night, they’re about to do it again. Here comes pain walkin’ through with a case of beer and lonliness is right there by his side. It feels good to have my friends around me now, someone go let in foolish pride.’” Those are a few of the lyrics, the title is “Strength to Crawl.” The song is good.
People always tell us that one way you know the music is good is when it’s all over, and you wish it weren’t. That’s how you’re going to feel when you get to the end of this CD. It’s one you just might wear out, because when it’s done, you want to play it again…and again… and again.
“It was recorded January 8-12 at the ETSU Recording Laboratory in Johnson City (a division of the school’s bluegrass program), and was produced and mixed by Ben Bateson. It was mastered in Nashville by Grammy Award winning Richard Dodd, who has literally worked with everyone,” Wes Holtsclaw, the band’s lead vocalist said.
The band has opened for Josh Turner, and Uncle Kracker, in addition to headlining many shows of their own. “It’s an exciting time for us as we have several out of town shows on the horizon scheduled to begin in February outside of Lexington, Kentucky at The Whisky Barrel in Richmond, Ky. for a weekend bill February 8-9 and into March with shows in Knoxville, Birmingham, Cincinnati, Louisville and our annual shows at sites around Bristol Motor Speedway during NASCAR weekend,” Wes said.
Please visit their facebook page, and follow them on Twitter @TwangBangers. Look around YouTube, too. You’ll find more videos of this great band, like the one above.
Back with more soon,