Texas southern rock band Whiskey Myers has done it yet again. Experiencing rising stardom outside of their original tight scene and gaining traction all over the country, they put another log on the fire with their newest record Tornillo, released on July 29th. For those of you who haven’t listened to Whiskey Myers or live under a rock, the group consists of primary songwriter and singer, Cody Cannon, guitarists Cody Tate and John Jeffers, bassist Jamey Gleaves, drummer Jeff Hogg and Tony Kent on keys and percussion. Prominent in Tornillo are the flawless backing vocals of The McCrary Sisters and killer attack of various brass instruments. The best way to describe this record’s sound in particular would be if you throw The Allman Brothers Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Rolling Stones into a blender and this was the result.
If we’re going to hit a few points on this track list, I guess we’ll start with the opening title track. This super dope brass instrumental automatically sets the mood and shows us what to expect with the songs to come, which is especially spotlighted in “John Wayne” and “Bad Medicine” for instance. Speaking of “John Wayne,” this track has great lyricism and storytelling, but what may stick out to music nerds is the extremely funky and infectious bass line groove throughout.
The soulful nature of the instrumental element throughout the record blends well with Cannon’s gritty, southern rock vocal style. This is obvious in “Antioch,” with him being supported by amazing background vocals. Guitar work is also insanely good on Tornillo, which is showcased on pretty much every tune, but to narrow down one of the best in that aspect, I’d suggest “Feet’s.”
There are some straight-up dancehall, jukebox jukin’ bangers on this album; one that comes to mind is “Mission to Mars,” which also has very clever and humorous lyrics throughout. On the other side of that coin, there’s also some songs with deeper meaning and lyrics meant to touch the listener and make them really think, like “Heavy on Me,” “Other Side” and “Heart of Stone.” “Whole World Gone Crazy” comments on the current times with a certain point of view that most people, left or right, can agree with and understand.
When it’s all said and done, Tornillo is going to be one of the best albums of the 2022. Aside from the musicianship and songwriting, which are elite, the ability that Whiskey Myers has to stay fresh with each release while also staying true to their own sound is beyond impressive. Hopefully this release gives them the push they need to become a huge mainstream act, showing new fans not only their songs, but also their style, which will be a gateway for more acts like them who deserve as much success as they do.