Bristol, Virginia’s Folk Soul Revival drops a new self-titled album August 17. Long overdue, the new album follows the band’s third release, Prompting the Dapperness, which hit number 12 on iTunes’ country chart and number ten on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart (South Atlantic Division).
Folk Soul Revival is made up of Daniel Davis (frontman), Justin Venable (guitar, vocals), Brandon Sturgill (bass), Chad Light (guitar, pedal steel, banjo), and Justin Louthian (drums, vocals). The band performs regularly at the Carter Family Fold and FloydFest, and has shared the stage with Dr. Ralph Stanley, Old Crow Medicine Show, Jason Isbell, and Eric Church.
The band’s sound encompasses country twang, bluegrass bounce, hillbilly, chicken-pickin’ guitar, and roadhouse roots-rock. This isn’t bro-country by any means. It’s down-home Southern country, the Real McCoy.
“These are stories of home,” says Davis. “We’re all backwoods country people who grew up in this area listening to bluegrass and country. That’s where we come from, and that’s where this album comes from, too.”
Encompassing 12 tracks, the album opens with “Other Side,” a rollicking barn-burner full of twangy, drawling oomph. The rhythm thrums with hoedown aromas, sparkling guitars, and Davis’ good-old-boy burr.
High spots on the album include “Losing Kind,” a creamy, bluesy tune floating on the luminous drawl of the pedal steel and a sighing organ. Davis’ voice, graceful and rasping, imbues the tune with tantalizing wisps of urgent melancholy.
“Small Town” starts off slow and easy, reflecting gentle harmonics supporting tender vocal tones. Then the song ramps up, exuding stylish country textures from glimmering guitars and a flashing banjo. I love the smooth decorative feel of this song.
“Lie To Me” opens with an oozing organ and warm guitars radiating affable hues. A quavering steel guitar infuses the tune with scrumptiously supple filaments, adding buttery poignancy. My favorite tune on the album is “Broken,” featuring a measured velvety melody full of silky textures. The gentle flow of the guitars and pedal steel imbue the music with fragrant delicacy. Davis’ chaffing tenor provides a sense of emotional imminence, aching with bruised timbres. Luscious gospel-like harmonies drape the music with gauzy radiance.
Folk Soul Revival is yummy, full of Southern grace and charm, as well as heady streams of surging country energy. If you’re into genuine country music, then Folk Soul Revival will satisfy your craving.