Home Read Albums Of The Week: Whiskey Myers | Tornillo

Albums Of The Week: Whiskey Myers | Tornillo

The rootsy Texas rockers goose their sixth LP with richer sonics & deeper grooves.

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THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “For genre-bending band Whiskey Myers, 2019’s self-titled and self-produced album offered a watershed moment. The album sold 41,000 copies in its first week, debuted atop both the Country and Americana album charts (and No. 2 on the Rock charts, behind a re-release of The BeatlesAbbey Road) and landed on multiple best-of-the-year list, allowing the band to celebrate mainstream success a decade in the making.

Now, after spending 21 days isolated at the 2,300-acre Sonic Ranch studio deep in the heart of their native Texas, just miles from the U.S./Mexico border, the Gold-certified renegades have doubled down on what they do best: Sharing honest truths with no-holds-barred instrumentation, letting the self-produced music speak for itself. Yet with Tornillo, named for the border town that is home to the pecan orchard-filled recording complex, the six-piece band have taken their solid decade-plus foundation and pushed themself to further explore new sonic landscapes.

“It’s going to have a little bit different sound,” lead singer Cody Cannon shared recently. “It’s still Whiskey Myers at its core, but it’s kind of fresh … We did a lot of brass and horns on this one, which is something we’ve always wanted to do. Just being fans of all that old music and Motown stuff, and a lot of the stuff coming out of Muscle Shoals, old rock ’n’ roll.

“We’re going to bend (genre) even more, I think, with this new record,” he continued. “It’s all over the place. But that’s fun, right? I hate the whole ‘Put it in a box. You gotta be this’ … That’s not art to me. I love the idea of just doing, really, whatever you feel. It comes out a certain way because that’s just how it comes out. Whiskey Myers never really tried to be a certain way. It’s just how we are. So I think that’s really the whole thing about music, or the beauty about music; it’s just that freedom to create.”

Tornillo as a whole does exactly that, drawing as much inspiration from Nirvana as from Waylon Jennings — even adding the legendary McCrary Sisters’ gospel influence to the project on background vocals. With Cannon leading the way on songwriting, the album also features writes from lead guitarist John Jeffers and fellow bandmembers Jamey Gleaves and Tony Kent, as well as rising singer/songwriter Aaron Raitiere (Anderson East, Oak Ridge Boys, A Star is Born).”