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Album Review: “Rockin’ The Country” by River County

November 30, 2008

Rockin' the Country3 Stars


The boys from River County may not be the biggest band in Nashville, and they may not ever have a radio hit, but they can always say they managed to distribute an album…even if only for promotion. They’re debut project is available at their shows or via MP3 on Amazon for fans. As a fan I took the liberty of offering my review of their project.

River County represents the type of act that every aspiring artist should present themselves to be when in the lower ranks of Nashville. They’re poised, confident and truthful in their presentation and sing straight from their own personal preferences and their own hearts. River County has become a known name on music row as a band that shows the potential to grow and rise to the challenge of making it as the underdogs. Their debut project serves as a way of introducing listeners to the band’s writing style, presentation and vocal abilities by touching on both sentimental and enjoyable concepts.

These guys have an obvious image that they wish to show off through this album, an image that is obviously incorporated well into their stage performance. They are hard core honky tonk rockers. They love to have fun and relate to their audience as their debut single “Rockin’ The Country” insists. They address themselves in the song, the opening track to the project of the same name, and make their presence know right from the start. These kinds of songs carry a strength through the project that presents how this band could potentially become the next big thing. “Moonshine Still” and “We’re All Here” are rather unique and bend not only the boundaries of the music, but also of the writing in country music to help support the bands first single and the rock/country sound that seems to be their forte. These guys shine when they can do things on their own and in their own way.

River County shifts through several other sounds as well in this project. They also offer pop/country sounds, powerful ballads and interesting storylines, all that show off potential weaknesses and strength in the bands presentation of this album. For example, “Song From The Heart”, while a sentimental balled dedicated to the loss of a someone close to you, is under-produced and under-appreciated in the singers vocal. There is emotion, but not enough to carry it very far or to reveal the true sentiment behind it. “I Thank God” is also sentimental as a romantic dedication to the love of one’s life. However once again the presentation lacks any real emotional attachment to the song so while the material is good it isn’t as powerful as it should be.

On a more faster pace the band includes “The Thrill Of A Better Chase”. This song brings in a more pop/country mix with it to help express the message of how the singer is always looking for bigger and better things to chase and taking on life’s crossroads head on rather than avoiding them. Songs like these lack the sincerity that River County can put into their rock/country dance tunes. They all sound rather thrown together and poorly produced when compared to the more comfortable material that the band brings to their table. In addition the writing for most of these songs falter horribly becoming cliched, underwritten and a little confusing at times as the listener tries to follow what is going on.

Getting back to the positives there are a few of these songs that are actually presented really well. Although plagued by production errors, the powerfully written “It’s Alright To Cry” acts as one of the best tracks the album has to offer. It’s one of the few moments in the project where the singer shows obvious connection and understanding of the sentimental situation behind the storyline and manages to present that successfully to the listener. “What A Real Man Does” is a little faster paced but also manages to show off a little bit more sincerity than most of its fellow tracks as it focuses on how a real man takes responsibilities and does what’s right despite humiliation or personal vendettas. So while much of this album is littered with errors outside of the band’s rock/country offerings, songs like these bring out the bands brighter aspects.

River County has potential and they show an obvious confidence in who they are and who they want to be. They shine when they bring out their rowdy personalities in rock/country honky tonk anthems and they show great pride and confidence when they take on performance based songs that they’re fans will enjoy. Where they falter is when they try to approach material outside of their comfort zone. Even some of this material is well presented, but sadly poor production and many performance flaws in the bands more “out there” offerings make this album less than expected.

One Comment leave one →
  1. jack strong permalink
    December 7, 2008 8:51 pm

    The music by river county is really good I have talked to a lot of people and let them hear their cd rockin country they turely like the songs. If the band wasn’t good they wouldn’t have ask them to be the head liners at the Hank FM Sky Concert this year the people went totally nuts and was beging them to sing more.

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