Live!: Whiskey Myers w/ Buffalo Summer – O2 Ritz, Manchester 20/05/2017
It’s a little under six months since southern rockers Whiskey Myers were last in Manchester, but since then they have graduated from the basement club environs of The Ruby Lounge to the fully fledged Ritz. When a band makes a venue transition like this in such a short space of time, you know they must be doing something right.
Opening up proceedings tonight are Buffalo Summer, a straight-up rock n’ roll outfit hailing from the Swansea area. Arriving on stage to a slightly muted response from the assembled crowd, it doesn’t take long for the Buffalo boys to set out their stall. There are no tricks or gimmicks on show, this is just four guys playing rock music the way it should be, raw and loud, and within two songs their infectious groove and soaring solos have people in headbanging heaven. Their arrival tonight may have been low key but as Buffalo Summer walk off stage, the audience makes their appreciation well known.
Whiskey Myers released their last album, Mud, in September of last year so it’s only fitting that they open up tonight’s set with a double helping of On The River and Mud from that record. These songs perfectly encapsulate what Whiskey Myers are all about. Their sound is one raised in the southern states on a diet of Americana, honky-tonk outlaws and classic rock. With lead singer Cody Cannon battling against an unruly mic stand the Texas 6-piece rattle through Early Morning Shakes, the country tinged slow burner Broken Window Serenade and a rousing version of Bar, Guitar and a Honky Tonk Crowd which sees the audience providing enthusiastic backing vocals when required.
By the middle of the set Cannon’s voice seems to be breaking slightly, possibly due to the effort he puts in to every song, but this only adds to the Red Dirt aesthetic of the band. A standout song for me was Frogman which seemed to have the sludge factor turned up to eleven and really showed off how heavy Whiskey Myers can be. A special shout out goes to the band’s sound engineer who had everything sounding just right. The twin guitars of Cody Tate and John Jeffers sat together perfectly and the rhythm section was spot on without overpowering the rest of the musicians.
The finishing flourish of the night included Wild Baby Shake Me, Ballad Of A Southern Man, and the now customary cover of The White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army. And with that all said and done, the Whiskey Myers wagons loaded up and headed off for five more dates in the UK before a brief jaunt in Europe and then home but don’t fret, if history is anything to go by, it won’t be too long before they’re back on our shores.
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