Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Savage Radley -- Kudzu

The Savage Radley is joining a new wave of Southern bands and artists that are re-examining their Southern identity. Like their album release day twins Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires, Kudzu portrays the complex relationship of wanting to be proud of your roots while acknowledging those roots flourished in rotten soil. Kentucky-raised singer-songwriter Shaina Goodman and her band have crafted a sound that flirts with indie rock while remaining just shy of Southern rock, reminiscent of Mount Moriah though more straightforward sonically and lyrically. While some of the songs on Kudzu are personal -- what's a country album without a love song or two? -- Kudzu picks up stream on the second half of the album and never looks back.


Beginning with "Blood Money," Goodman turns from her personal foibles to portraying a South populated by strivers for whom the American dream has turned on and cannibalized in the name of progress. "Blood Money" reminds us that the South wasn't simply built on cotton. "Little River Town" relates the story of her sharecropper grandparents buying some land and making a go of it on their own, and their bemusement at their traveling, song-writing granddaughter. "River Rat Crawl" describes a small-town boy's journey to the big city once his prospects at home dry up. The closer, "Slough Water," expresses affection for the great Mississippi. Kudzu is complicated, and it invites us to share in Goodman's struggle to keep the good and confront the bad.


The Savage Radley -- Official, Facebook, Purchase from The Savage Radley

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