I’ll be honest here. You’re not going to get an impartial review of this album from me. Since I first heard them in late 2014, The Cadillac Three have been in my top 5 groups of all time. ‘Bury Me in My Boots’ has been one of my most anticipated albums ever. I received my copy around 7pm this evening, it’s now 11pm and I’ve already played all 14 exquisite tracks 6 times! The fact that there are only 5 songs that I haven’t owned previously matters not. Those 5 instantly lovable songs are now part of a package that form my favourite new album!
TC3’s first album was released in the USA and the UK at different times and with different track lists. It even had different titles, ‘The Cadillac Three’ in the States, ‘Tennessee Mojo’ in the UK, which is the reason why us UK folk have both ‘White Lightning’ and ‘The South’ (missing from the US debut) on both ‘Tennessee Mojo’ and this superb follow up, to bring both countries into line. Not that I’m complaining. We get yet another new version of ‘White Lightning’, not the best version but still one of the best love songs ever, and the spine tingling ‘The South’ will probably always be in my top 3 TC3 songs.
To complicate matters further, 3 songs from the ‘Peace, Love & Dixie’ EP, originally only released in the UK, feature here. ‘Party Like You’, ‘Peace, Love & Dixie’ and ‘Hot Damn’ will already be familiar to fans of TC3, so most of you will know that ‘Party Like You’ is the only ‘go to’ song you’ll ever need to play as you’re getting ready for a night out. Or that ‘Peace, Love & Dixie’ is a perfect driving along on a sunny Sunday afternoon with the windows down kinda song. The same could be said for the rockier ‘Hot Damn’, but add a songful of clever, witty lyrics to the mix. It’s hard to pinpoint a single reason why TC3 have endeared themselves to a UK audience. The quality of the songwriting is an obvious reason, but for me, the lyrics play a huge role in my love for the band. Sure, the lyrics only contain 3 main subjects, drinking, girls and the south, but each song tells a story that drags you in and forces you to be a part of it. I’ve never been to Nashville, but after listening to TC3 for the past 2 years, it feels like my second home!
Again, fans of the band will know that we’ve been drip fed tracks from this album over the past few months, which only increased our hunger for its August 5th release. ‘Graffiti’ was the first to land in our digital inboxes. The only song Jaren Johnston has ever recorded that he didn’t write. ‘Graffiti’ was penned by drummer Neil Mason with two friends, it was played to Jaren as a demo and decided there and then that it would make the album.
‘Soundtrack to a Six Pack’, ‘Drunk Like You’ and ‘Slide’ followed as additional teasers as to how good the album would be. The first 2 now firmly cemented in TC3’s live set. Two other brand new songs, never before released until now, have been live favourites for a few months. The brilliantly titled ‘Ship Faced’ and the raw but beautiful love song ‘Running Red Lights’, featuring stunning lap steel guitar playing from Kelby Ray Caldwell, are not only standout live tracks but also standout album tracks, and have instantly become 2 of my favourite TC3 songs.
The title track, ‘Buzzin’ and ‘This Accent’ round off an album that not only matches my expectations, but surpasses them and leaves them at the starting block.
The Cadillac Three are unique. They’re country, they’re rock, they’re the coolest Honky Tonk bar band in history, yet I defy anybody to pinpoint a comparison to any other band. ‘Bury me in My Boots’ deserves to be the album that propels TC3 to new heights.
Words by Mike