Georgia Red Clay might at first simply sound like another dime a dozen Southern Rock artists, but these Georgia boys bring a unique melding of old 70s style Southern Rock with down and dirty blues layered overtop a Johnny Cash-like country bedrock. Reverbnation says they sound like fellow Atlanteans Blackberry Smoke, and the comparison is a valid one, but Blackberry Smoke has much more in common with The Black Crowes than Johnny Cash. Georgia Red Clay take on a little more, if not serious, then sombre themes.
Brian Warner (lead vocals/guitar), Eric Warner (Lead Guitar/Backup Vocals), Daniel McGill (Drums), William “Billy” Bosler (Bass/Backup Vocals) sing about the typical country/southern rock things, except their southern girls would just as soon stand up for themselves/kick your butt if you mistreat them as make your “heart go boom-boom.” “Southern Born and Bred” is everything that a band working in this genre could ask for. A taunt southern rocking song with plenty inspired blues influenced riffing, “Southern Born and Bred” also showcases Brian Warner’s best turn as the vocalist for Georgia Red Clay on the whole EP. “Going Down,” with it’s Johnny Cash on steroids and strings stomp and strum sounds like a song the late Mr. Cash would have covered on his next American Recordings. Brian Warner might be singing about going down, but it’s not where you’d think. Decrying the evils of drink and devil, Brian pleads for his listeners to avoid the fires of hell. It’s a notion well tread, but rarely this earnestly from a new act. “Next Time,” perhaps the weakest track from this young band, veers pretty heavily into “woe is me” country song territory. “I’ve lived my life/made mistakes/and that’s alright/ I’ll just do it better next time.” Yeah, the lyrical maturity will come with time. “Next Time” is a misstep, but what young band hasn’t had them? “Why Girl Why” picks up the pace, but is decidedly a country song pumped up with a bit of honky tonk and boot scootin’. The song does flirt with a bit of an alt-country sound (which is really just country music made palatable to non-country music fans), but saves itself from falling into parody by being more country than alt-country ever was or could be.
“Don’t Tread on Me,” features more than just Warner’s second best turn at the mike stand, it’s a true rock song loaded with power chords and loud vocals. Again here though Georgia Red Clay isn’t simply what they appear to be topically. What might simply seem like an ode to the ole’ “don’t tread on me” exclusionist mantra of southern Tea Partiers, is much more than that. “Growing up in the south ain’t what it seems to be/there’s more than just fried foods and collard greens/It’s about love and living/family and giving/everything you’ve got or what you need.” Here, Georgia Red Clay espouse the Golden Rule over the rule of the mob. “Don’t tell me I’m wrong/cause standin’ up ain’t strong/At least I got something left to stand for.” Somehow I think Georgia Red Clay are standing up for more than what one might at first think, which really makes them standing up for something, if not new, much more embracing, just like their sound.