Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a sucker for alt-country based music. Upon first listen of Billy Roberts and the Rough Riders’ latest release, The Last of the Originals, I was immediately a fan. Hailing from Australia, Billy Roberts and co. are far more than just another band.
Their sensational brand of country mixed with indie folk shed light on influences such as Neil Young, Wilco, Johnny Cash and even the Black Keys. The first piece on the record, “Mrs. Jones,” hits you with a breath of fresh air. Swirling guitars and a whirlwind of melody are striking as they are accompanied by bright keys and on-point harmonies. This is a theme that carries throughout the record. Tracks such as “Never Know,” offer a softer side of the record, while personal favorite, “No More Mr Nice Guy” provides an in-your-face punch. Roberts’ vocals are gritty yet smooth, and perfectly fit the sound of the songs. “I Was Young,” reminds one a bit of early Ryan Adams’ Whiskeytown in vocals and musicianship. The accompanying violin is a beautiful touch. “Not That Special,” is a touching and intricate piece that is one of the highlights of the record. Roberts’ voice is definitely made for this music and is something that I have been enjoying more and more with every listen.
Purchase Billy Roberts and the Rough Riders’ l The Last of the Originals: http://billyrobertsandtheroughriders.bandcamp.com/