You gotta break, you gotta break out. — Music Review

– Stubborn Son, “Head Above Water”, Birthright

Few bands in my recent memory have been as addicting as has Stubborn Son. They are a serious, focused, impassioned blues rock band. This “union forged out of the heat of intention and blunt circumstance” is made up of Garrett Lamp (guitar, vocals), Blair Daly (drums) and Andrew Knapp (bass, vocals). As their website will tell you they are “three like-minded musicians who find themselves at the precipice of greatness.” I feel those words to be prescient and pair perfectly with some of their lyrics from “Head Above Water,” the fifth track of their debut album, Birthright:

“Keep your head from going under. And your eyes to the clouds. Ain’t no better time to learn to swim but now. You gotta break, you gotta break out. Its not too late, its gonna come ‘round.”

Stubborn Son deserves to break out.  This music is too good, to approachable to be kept quiet.  Early reports stated they sound like Black Keys and Led Zeppelin. Allusions to them can certainly be found along with, I think, Cream, George Thorogood, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Kenny Wayne Shepherd.  Doubtless there are even more influences to be discerned. This isn’t to say that their music is just a copy or a derivative of every other blues rock band. No, it’s fresh and authentic; it’s rhythms and its cadence, the sensuous poetry of the deep bass notes and the gravelly electric guitar, the hypnotic thump of the drums, are beats that take their place in your soundtrack without dispute, with honor, which is why as I listened I was convinced that I’d heard these guys before, that I knew this band intimately  Others whom I had listen to them felt the same. It’s as if Stubborn Son isn’t a new, break out band ; they have simply always been there, everywhere.

Birthright‘s production sounds vintage, not over produced or digitally created.  You can hear fingers on strings, the hum and vibration of drum heads and cymbals, the closeness and roughness of the vocals.  Then there is the content of the songs.  The band seems to explore love, lust, relationships, self-evaluation, tenacity.  The things that make us all human and all, our birthright.

Their debut album, Birthright, will be officially released on July 14,205.


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