In my line of work I get to hear some pretty awesome Southern rock and country music. Sometimes I get blown away by the artist and musicianship, other times it’s the songwriting that draws me in. It’s rare to see a performer that brings it all to the table, but Galloway & Kelliher have done just that.
Outlaws & Renegades features stellar veteran musicians (see our interview) combined with excellent songwriting. No where on the record is that more evident than in the first track, “Rebel Rock.” It’s a new anthem for good ol’ boys and gals everywhere.
“Rebel rock, rebel truck, rebel, flag good luck
It’s my history
Take me back to the land
I can call my home again
Way down South in Dixie.”
Timmy Kelliher plays multiple guitar parts and boy oh boy can he play. Then there’s big Mike Galloway, an imposing figure of a lead singer and harp player with pipes born to sing this stuff. It’s a little Skynyrd, a little Hatchet, a little Tucker, all good. “Rebel Rock” may be my new theme song.
But this no one trick pony, ladies and gentlemen. This album is chock full of good music. “Virginia Moon” is one hell of a Civil War lament, with some visions of Marshall Tucker floating overhead.
“Willie” is great. A song that asks the authorities to please quit picking on Willie Nelson and just leave him alone. Featuring a musical arrangement that evokes a combination of Molly Hatchet and the Brothers’ “Midnight Rider,” the tongue in cheek tune is great, with Galloway doing a redneck rap in the middle of the song that would make Kid Rock envious. Just brilliant, guys.
“Nite Train” has a real Allman flavor, with Galloway and Kelliher sharing lead vocals. The arrangement is killer.
The only non-original tune on the album is a rocking cover of the Nine Inch Nails/Johnny Cash new classic “Hurt,” and “Carolina Mountain Time” is another original tune that features Timmy Kelliher on vocals with a real Tuckerized vibe. All good.
“She’s Got the Rhythm (And I Got the Blues)” brings back that old King Snake feel full tilt and it is more fun than a barrel full of pythons.
“Edna” is new take on love songs, and the album ends with a blues jam recorded live in the studio called “Blues in the Morning,” featuring an early Stones vibe that is straight up infectious.
Outlaws and Renegades is one hell of a Southern rock record, with some mighty fine blues mixed in for good measure. Don’t miss this one. Whatever you do, don’t miss it. Like Hunter S. Thompson used to say, “buy the ticket, take the ride.” You won’t regret it.
-Michael Buffalo Smith