The Cadillac Black
While The Cadillac Black might be a brand new band – a little over a year old as of this writing – native Nashvillians Jaren Johnston, Neil Mason and Kelby Ray have been friends and musical co-conspirators for as long as anyone can remember.
They've weathered their wild teenage years and even wilder tours, weathered major label letdowns and major league triumphs, conquered Music Row – Johnston co-wrote Keith Urban's #1 single “You Gonna Fly” – and crashed on the couches of strangers in far flung cities. These boys have seen more ups and downs than a Smoky Mountain tour guide.
But in spite of all the trials and tribulations – or perhaps because of them – The Cadillac Black have emerged with a sound all of their own, a sound that hovers between radio-ready country anthems, hard-and-heavy rock and traditional Southern folk. You could call it country fuzz, you could call it hipster-billy, you could call it any number of over-hyphenated, adjective-strewn things but when you boil it all down there's only one way to describe it: damn good music, as pure and refreshing as a country creek.
It's a sound that works as well in front of an amphitheater full of ZZ Top fans or the Dierks Bentley crowd as well as it does in the dive bars and dark corners of the underground music. Though, truth be told, the Cadillac Black's sound probably works best blaring out of your car speakers as you fly down the highway, wind blowing through your hair on the way to another wild Saturday night.
Built around Masons thundering, melodic percussion and the sinewy intertwining of Johnston's guitar with Ray's lap steel, songs like “I'm Southern”, “Days of Gold” and “Whiskey Soaked Redemption” on their self-produced debut bristle with energy and explode at a moments notice. Tracks like “Down to the River”, “Get Your Buzz On” and “Back It Up” evoke the legends of Southern Rock – your Molly Hatchets, your Outlaws, your Ozark Mountain Daredevils – but they aren't nostalgic, aren't fetishistic reconstructions of by-gone eras. This the new sound of the New South, bigger and badder than ever.
The Cadillac Black is
JAREN JOHNSTON: Lead Vocals & Guitars
NEIL MASON: Drums, Percussion & Backgrounds
KELBY RAY: Guitars, Lap Steel & Backgrounds
In a modest rent house in the small East Texas town of Elkhart, Texas, Cody Cannon and Cody Tate began to write music, only dreaming of the success that is sure to follow. They began to incorporate the talent and imagination of friend and guitarist John Jeffers. At that time, they called themselves Lucky Southern, though they had only three members.
As time passed, with their inspiration mounting, they moved to Tyler, Texas. There they met up with Jeff Hogg, a mutual friend and drummer from Palestine, Texas, and Gary Brown, a bass guitarist who had grown up in Neches, Texas. They came together and came to be known as Whiskey Myers.
Soon, the group was playing private parties on flatbed trailers in small towns around East Texas. The sound they emitted was something more unique than anyone had expected. From their first show in Montalba, Texas, a young Whiskey Myers was hooked on performing, and the crowds were hooked on them.
In the spring of 2007, they were given the opportunity to open for Roger Creager at Gator’s Bar and Grill in Gun Barrel City, Texas. The club owner was so impressed by their performance and the crowd that had come to the stage that he asked them to come back the next weekend to open for The Eli Young Band. From then on, popularity for the band began to swell. They were heard on live stages all over East Texas, in interviews on local radio stations, and seen on television giving live interviews. Suddenly it seemed that the whole region knew who Whiskey Myers was, and everyone was becoming familiar with their high energy twin guitars, soulful vocals, and unstoppable rhythm.
Whiskey Myers’ musical style was forged from several different genres of music from several different eras. The most obvious of these are the blues rock jam bands such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Allman Brothers Band, and Led Zeppelin. Whiskey Myers takes the blues rock genre and mixes it with modern day Texas Country such as Reckless Kelly, Randy Rogers, and Cross Canadian Ragweed to derive a new sound that is sure to take concert listeners on an atmospheric roller coaster.
With a sound like no other and a stage presence that captivates anyone close enough to notice, a live concert performed by this young band is something that must be seen to be believed. The Tyler area has been instrumental in the development of Whiskey Myers from a group of musicians to a band. As the group continues to expand its fan base, new listeners all over Texas are beginning to recognize their talent. They continue to engulf listeners with their sound, ensuring that the name Whiskey Myers is one that will be remembered for ages to come.