May 4, 2017
The Savage Radley Offers an Authentic Glimpse into Southern Life on Kudzu
Band’s latest collection pays tribute to the South with an unconventional sound
Glide Magazine premieres first single, “Gone”
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — May 4, 2017 — The American South and its stomps and twangs have heavily influenced The Savage Radley’s music, but one thing is certain: this is not throwback country. Produced by Skylar Wilson (Justin Townes Earle, Caitlin Rose, Andrew Combs), the band’s Delta-infused sound mixes classic Southern writing with progressive power, soon showcased on their new album, Kudzu, out June 30. The first single, “Gone,” premiered with Glide Magazine today, saying, “the simple combo of gritty guitar and heavy drumbeats hits like a hard and defiant blast of rock and roll.”
Kudzu is assuredly influenced by songwriter Shaina Goodman’s upbringing. A Kentucky-raised songwriter and Delta farmer’s daughter, her songs are infused with familiar pillars of Southern culture: the intricacies of rural life, the tragedy of tormented love, the belief in what can be accomplished through hard work and elbow grease, and the mysteriously seductive power of the muddy waters of the Mississippi River.
“I’m a real farmer’s daughter, singing about the things I know,” Goodman said. “It’s not hard to share my sense of place when I know figuratively and literally how a patch of land holds a world together.”
Fueled by electric guitar, pedal steel, piano, and the percussion of former punk drummer and longtime band member Stephen Montgomery, the songs on Kudzu tell the story of a modern-day life in rural America. Kicking off with the guitar-heavy “Gone,” Kudzu shines a light on love and everyday experiences. The fuzzy, fiery “Worm (On Hot Pavement)” kicks up plenty of dust, and “Blood Money” casts a spooky spell. “Little River Town” tells the story of Goodman’s grandparents, former sharecroppers who transformed themselves into owners of a large farming operation, while “Slough Water” — equal parts piano ballad, folk song and secular gospel tune — finds the singer longing for the muddy, therapeutic water of the Mississippi River. “Milk and Honey” provides the most stripped-down selection on the album, telling its tale of tormented love.
Different in scope and sound from the music emanating from nearby country capital of the world, Kudzuwas recorded in western Kentucky, with producer Skylar Wilson (Justin Townes Earle, Caitlin Rose, Andrew Combs) traveling from Tennessee to work with the band. This is raw, ragged, rock-influenced roots music, with Goodman singing about the land she knows — a land nearly forgotten, tucked away along the banks of the Mississippi River — in a voice caught halfway between a wail and a warble.
Mixing the storytelling tradition of classic southern writers with an amped-up sound, thanks in part to the group of the pickers and pounders who add electricity, elasticity and grit to the songs on Kudzu, Goodman views the album as another step toward the band becoming part of a new wave of Southern rock. It’s an album about where she’s from, stacked with songs that point to where she’s going.