Give Me Telecasters, Let Them Rock (Part 1)

I’ve always liked country music. Ever since I spent a year living in the backwoods of Queensland, Australia in the year of 2000, country music has been as much part of my being as the cowboy hats I’ve been wearing ever since. Slim Dusty, Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Billy Joe Shaver and, of course, Johnny Cash have shaped my understanding of a world away from the city where I grew up until I was 18. These men have shaped my understanding of what it means to be a man. As I grow older, and as my respect for most of my other musical heroes and the things they stand for is waning among the insanities of the pandemic, I find myself turning more and more towards country music.

See my previous post on Van Morrison and the absence of rebels in today’s music

I enjoy the tell-it-as-it-is lyrics and musical simplicity of country in a time where everybody seems to turn out to be a hypocrite lying through their teeth. Especially outlaw country has always inspired me with its I-don’t-give-a-shit-about-your-mainstream-opinion attitude. This attitude is the reason for the outlaws part of the “Linux Outlaws” name. And it’s an attitude that is especially needed in these times where everyone seems to agree with everything the talking heads on TV are saying. I want more country in my life right now. Down-to-earth lyrics, a couple of Telecasters cranked through a very loud amp, a bass and a drumkit and let ‘er rip!

So I’m always on the lookout for some good new country to listen to. That’s why my interest was piqued immediately when I recently read a story somewhere about this southern country band going through some tough times. They have just released a new album, even though their band leader and song writer had died earlier in the year. The story was accompanied by a photo of some seriously cool looking dudes of about my age in serious hats and packing serious Telecaster action. I was sure, based on the picture alone, that I would like these guys.

And indeed, I love these guys. They are called The Steel Woods and they are amazing. They have the most powerful country rock sound I’ve heard in ages. I love their southern heritage and even though their singer has a vocal range that’s a lot higher than the stuff I usually prefer, his voice is extremely captivating. And their lyrics are extremely intelligent, too. I listened to their three albums in one sitting and one of the songs made me flat out cry. These dudes are the real deal. They are amazing. I’m very glad I found their music.

Wherever you are now, Rowdy, rest in peace. And thank you for these wonderful songs! I hope the rest of the band can continue to do them justice and will record many, many more in your memory.

The Steel Woods – Rock That Says My Name (Live in Memphis, TN)

This entry was originally published in ⇒ my gemlog in the Gemini space.