Flying Buffaloes Straddle Classic Rock and Country on ‘Loaded and Rollin’ (ALBUM REVIEW)

It’s hard for any band to make itself noticeable. The chore is that much more difficult for a band from Nashville, where musicians are a dime a dozen. On their new album Loaded and Rollin’, Flying Buffaloes gives you 10 songs that will make you take notice.

This album is billed as “classic rock meets outlaw country,” and that is a pretty apt description. The classic rock sounds wander down a variety of paths. At some points, you hear some definite Rolling Stones influence and the title track is a good example. The intro to this song (which also includes the phrase “give me shelter”) features a piano part and a beat that are straight out of the Stones songbook. The same can be said for the intro to “When I Looked into Her Eyes” with its blend of classic rock and country. It’s not surprising that you also hear some Allman Brothers influence, which is especially evident in the guitar intro of “Lovebound”. There is one other influence that is pretty prominent throughout the album, and it’s hard not to think about The Band when you hear the harmony vocals in these tunes. 

A lot of the outlaw country sound can be heard in the band’s cover of “Mama Tried”. This is undeniably a country song – particularly since the guitar at times brings Waylon Jennings to mind. Still, with the beat and the volume, the band injects a fair amount of rock and roll into the song. One thing is for sure. Merle Haggard never played the song quite as loud as this version. “Easy Love” is another song that leans more toward country – accented by the pedal steel – that is made for slow dancing in a dark honky tonk.

“Lady Liberty” is something of a change-up. For nearly the first two minutes, all you hear is picking on a 12-string guitar. And it’s pretty impressive picking at that. Each note resonates in a way that makes you feel like you were in the room when the song was recorded. After the extended instrumental intro, the vocals come in and at times sound like young Bob Dylan. The real power in this song is that it is stripped to just vocals and a 12-string guitar, which allows you to experience every note.

You could call this an alt-country album, and you wouldn’t be wrong. However, it’s more accurate to say that this album delivers whether you want a rollicking classic rock tune or a song you would hear in a crowded honky tonk. When you reach the end of the album, you will likely wish it went just a little longer. 

Photo credit: Daniel Shippey Photography

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