After 18 years in hibernation, 6 String Drag is back with a new album, Roots Rock ‘N’ Roll, out February 10 on Royal Potato Family. The full length effort is equal part openhearted honesty, featuring frontman Kenny Roby‘s witty americana songwriting, and part jammed-out pure roots rock and roll! The bands newest recording plays homage to rocks first golden age reminding us of all that was real, and pure in americana roots rock and roll, clearly influenced by the likes of Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, Roy Orbison, The Everly Brothers and Gene Vincent.
Listen to the first single off the album, “Drive Around Town”
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“The songs I was writing in the months leading up to the recording were about being teenagers, about hanging out and passing time in small towns. It was the result of revisiting some of my earliest rock ‘n’ roll influences. We all love The Beatles, The Stones, the psychedelic movement, but I was going back to the roots before that and soaking it all in heavily. I became a super-fan again, studying what made some of my favorites tick, both musically and lyrically,” says Roby. “We like to think this record was made in the spirit of one of our heroes, Doug Sahm. He did so many kinds of music that influenced him and wasn’t afraid to try to touch on the music that he loved.”
In the mid to late ’90s, the Raleigh, North Carolina-based 6 String Drag stood out as pioneers of the nascent alt-country movement, rising through the ranks alongside Whiskeytown, Drive-By Truckers and Son Volt. The band’s Steve Earle-produced LP, High Hat, remains an undisputed classic of its era. Battle-scarred and road-wizened, today’s 6 String Drag is the sound of four kindred souls reunited, letting their own histories as human beings mingle freely around their shared love of classic sounds. Kenny Roby and Rob Keller weld their trademark harmonies to surging rhythms. Ray Duffey’s swinging drums and Keller’s upright bass are the foundation, embroidered by Roby’s rhythm guitar and guitarist Scott Miller’s pointed leads and thickened by a Stax-versed horn section. Recorded live off the studio floor to tape in just four days, the immediacy translates beautifully to record, elevating everything from the plaintive desperation of “Hard Times, High Times” to the self-effacing word play rave-up “Kingdom of Gettin’ It Wrong” to the rousing slide guitar snarl of“Sylvia.” A knife’s edge intensity is matched by a wooly, woody sound. Instruments bleed into vocal mics. Imperfection is celebrated, rather than avoided.