I guess if someone were to mention one of the bands in a cluster of quality Southern Rock bands it would be a good bet that Warner E Hodges big assed grin will have shared a stage with them at some point and has long been the sparring partner of class act Dan Baird

The album opens up in sprightly fashion with an out and out twelve-bar rocker in the shape of ‘Preaching To The Choir’ call it what you like Alt-Country, countrified Rock and Roll or American to me it’s just some straight down the line honesty to Goodness Rock and Roll.  It has to have swing, it has to roll as well as rock and it has to have a hook.  that to me sounds like a pretty decent blueprint to start writing songs from and it stood Hodges in good stead previously be it with his foils in Baird or Jason.

Think aa side of DC (as in the Angus variety in the clarity of that six-string punch) and a dollop of that rock-solid backbeat but being open and willing to go wherever the song dictates.  there is some exquisite playing on the fine ‘Last Train Outta Town’ as you might expect.

The pace is changed up for ‘The Magician’ where you get to waltz a little closer to that country twang that you now is in his heart.  I will add here that Hodges has a fair set of pipes on him and he might have hidden that particular talent under a bushel when working with his pals but he can wail kids – yeehaw!

I do like the strut of ‘Where You Gone’ and the band sound like they’re having a ball in keeping that rhythm on a tight leash. The record bounces from tempo to tempo but within a style, you’d expect and I’m sure if you know Warner’s work you’re going to find plenty here to make you smile and know you’ve spent your money wisely. Oh, and I love the saxophone on ‘Higher Ground’ it sounds great on one of these boogie-woogie tunes and makes you wonder why it doesn’t feature more often. On that note the honkin’ harmonica cuts through ‘Don’t Bring Me Down’ and I must say its the kinda song I like best.  Uptempo, with a dash of attitude and some rollicking guitar playing.

Which only leaves the token acoustic strum at the end of the record. It’s ok I guess – traditional, minimalist cliched lyrics but don’t let me put you off because of one song.  This record is really good and as far as debut records go it does seem kinda funny calling it a debut album but the Warner E Hodges band know exactly how to do the countified Rock and Roll loudly and do it really well you know it makes sense and it does Just Feels Right.




Buy ‘Just Feels Right’ Here

Author: Dom Daley