Hogjaw - 'Ironwood'

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Hogjaw - 'Ironwood'

Even if you have just a passing interest in Southern Rock music, this is a must.

Hailing from the desert state Arizona, Hogjaw are a Southern Rock band who have taken the blueprint of Lynyrd Skynyrd and added some touches of old style Country and Classic Rock to produce something quite special, with some great storytelling lyrics. First album ‘Devil In The Details’ was released in 2008 and went on to be one of the best selling CD’s of that year at cdbaby.com. Fronted by the whisky soaked vocals of JonBoat Jones, the band are completed by lead guitarist Craig Self, bassist Elvis DD and drummer J. ‘Kwall’ Kowalski.

Opener ‘Rollin Thunder’ is a rollickin’ ride with some awe inspiring guitar breaks and pounding rhythms, if Iron Maiden decided to go in a Southern Rock direction then this would be the result! ‘Three Fifty Seven’ has a riff slightly reminiscent of Rush’s ‘The Temples Of Syrinx’ topped off with some great wah wah guitar textures and great drum fills, ‘Ain’t Ever Gonna Win (Without A Little Bit Of Sun)’ is a ZZ Top style blues rock workout, while ‘Two Guns’ is a fast and furious rocker that tips a Stetson to the likes of Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard, but still keeps the Southern sound intact, and ‘Flathead’ has echoes of the Charlie Daniels Bands ‘The Devil Went Down To Georgia.’ But it’s not all raucous bar-room rabble-rousing anthems, there are some very classy mid-tempo tunes too; ‘Blacktop’ has some wonderful pedal steel licks that bring to mind early Eagles and is a great tale of deceit involving selling illicit liquor, the shuffling beat of ‘County Line’ is reminiscent of Skynyrd’s ‘Coming Home’ and is complete with a fantastic extended guitar solo at it’s finale, ‘Walkin’ is a downbeat tale of war, and the closing ‘Hornswogglin’ is a bluesy tune about pilfering beer that evokes visions of sitting on the front porch jammin’ tunes with your buddies while the sun goes down.

Great musicianship, great lyrics, even if you have just a passing interest in Southern Rock music, this is a must.

Ant Heeks

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