Cheyenne Valley Drive
Cheyenne Valley Drive is my first exposure to the Greyhounds and man, do first impressions count. Within the first few tracks I thought to myself, what is going on with this album?, and I mean that in the most refreshing way possible. Their self-proclaimed title of “Junkyard Band” fits Cheyenne Valley Drive perfectly and the range of genre and emotions reflect that “Junkyard” style of music.
The albums 10 songs precisely wander from the opening “Learning How to Love”, which could have easily been an R&B hit in the ’70s, to “No Other Woman”, which is more raw, Austin rooted guitar funk that reminds me of a foot chase through a Tarantino film. In addition to these, the stand-out tracks for me are “Space Song”, “WMD”, “Rocky Love”, and “Goodbye”. The remaining 4 tracks “Get Away Clean”, “12th Street”, “All We Are”, and “Credo” explore a sultry, R&B sound and while very well done, I prefer the more upbeat, raucous compositions that the Greyhounds do so well.
The Grammy Award-winning Tennessee native, Matt Ross-Spang produced this third addition to the Greyhounds catalog at the Memphis powerhouse, Sam Phillips Recording. The core of singer and guitarist Andrew Trube and Anthony Farrell on vocals and keyboards added Ed Miles on drums and recorded live, in one room, over three days. That recording speed produces live energy that you just don’t get with multiple takes of each track, and allowed the Greyhounds to take some musical chances.
Each song jumps with drive and clarity and while you can hear that some tracks aren’t the polished perfection you hear on pop radio, they are perfectly polished. Recorded on analog tape, these guys know how to put out a timeless sound and use the most of their studio to convey the heart of the songs. The album breathes in a natural way and is a refreshing as, well, a Cheyenne Valley Drive.
The Greyhounds pull from a variety of resources for the material on this album and you will hear those influences throughout these 10 tracks. I hear the tightness that they brought as backing members of JJ Grey & Mofro for the past 10 years. You’ll get a taste of that ever present Austin sound, ala The Fabulous Thunderbirds or Doyle Bramhall II as they sprinkle their own signature sound on each song.
Grab this album now, or even better, get out and see them live on their current tour.