There’s an ample amount of soul, and with it, equal parts folk and revival in the aptly named five piece outfit Folk Soul Revival. Indeed, the band does an outstanding job of combining all kinds of archival elements in an eponymous effort that rings with a vintage sound that defines the essence of Americana authenticity. Indeed, these songs tell familiar tales of rural existence — as the press release says — tales told from “front porches, back roads, and Friday night football games, sketching a picture that’s quintessentially Southern.”
This, the band’s fourth album to date, touches on those timeless topics, and while the material is unerringly original — save a well suited cover of Little Feat’s classic trucker song “Willin’” — it still comes across with a certain familiarity, given the fact that these themes and topics are so universal. Likewise, the band — front-man and chief songwriter Daniel Davis, Justin Venable (baritone guitar, vocals, occasional songwriting duties), Brandon Sturgill (upright bass, bass guitar), Chad Light (guitar, pedal steel, banjo), and Justin Louthian (drums, vocals) — make no mistake of their blue collar origins, singing songs that extol the virtues of working hard, sharing time with loved ones, and merely doing the best one can do in sometimes trying circumstances. Their rustic accoutrements, comprising banjo, slide guitar, pedal steel, upright bass, and seamless vocal harmonies, can both tender and tenacious, but it consistently rings with an air of authenticity that’s rich and resolute. Clearly, Folk Soul Revival sing songs that come from their hearts, experiences learned and freely shared in a gifted and gracious way.
Authenticity isn’t always an additive that comes naturally,but here, in the hands of Folk Soul Revival, it makes for an exceptional effort, worthy of elevating them to the highest plateau. “Give me a small town where a man’s word is good as a firm handshake,” they sing on “Small Town,” another ode to an honest existence. In this era of angst and excess, one has to appreciate both their music and their mantra.