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The Whiskey Gentry (Atlanta)
The best recipes often feature the most disparate ingredients, the idea being that a pairing of unlikely flavors has the potential to create an unexpected and surprisingly delicious result. So it is with The Whiskey Gentry, which assembled four years ago from a group of musicians whose influences and experiences included British and American Punk, Roots Rock and traditional Bluegrass. Of course, even the most passionate inspiration won’t fire up weak material, but The Whiskey Gentry operates from the solid songwriting foundation of husband-and-wife team Jason Morrow and Lauren Staley, and the evidence of their strength is all over their first two albums, 2011’s Please Make Welcome and the just-released Holly Grove, both produced by the great John Keane. The Whiskey Gentry’s unique gift is varying their recipe and allowing their broad influences to rise to the surface, from galloping Punk to weepy Country to vintage Bluegrass and every stop in between.
YDIIYD: In an alternate universe, Dolly Parton joins X in 1979 and Punk-spiked Country sweeps the nation. (BB)
Paste Magazine was dead-on when they called The Whiskey Gentry a “toe-tapping, steamrolling kind of band, its fingers picking deep into fields of bluegrass, feet stomping in line with a punk-inspired kick drum.”
Formed in 2009 by husband and wife duo Lauren Staley and Jason Morrow, The Whiskey Gentry is a group of seasoned veterans to put things mildly, some of the finest pickers and musicians the Southeast has to offer. A recent finalist in the Chris Austin Songwriting Competition held at MerleFest, Staley’s natural gifts with words and her powerful lead vocal abilities complement the band’s edgy interpretation of an otherwise traditional sound. All of this, coupled with a commanding and high-energy live performance, sets the bar for the way today’s country music ought to sound honest, tight, daring, and void of pretension.