CALGARY, Alta. – Before I write one word about the Road Hammers’ debut CD, I must preface this review by stating I’m not a country music fan, and I’m definitely not a music critic.
In all honesty, I thought I’d listen to the Road Hammers’ debut single ‘I’m a Road Hammer’ and then quickly toggle through the rest of the songs, summing up my first impressions in a few short lines.
Boy, was I wrong.
I listened to the entire album from the initial sound byte of a diesel engine firing up to the closing tune (which came all too soon). Then, I listened to it again. And again. In fact, the CD has yet to leave my discman.
The Road Hammers combine the best of new and old country with a hard-rock edge that can rope in fans of all music genres. You don’t have to be a country fan to enjoy the Road Hammers – and you don’t have to be a trucker, although it certainly helps.
The Road Hammers – led by Canadian country star Jason McCoy – have put together a compilation of new and classic trucker tunes.
Each song on the CD is a trucker anthem unto itself and together the collection is one of the best foot-stompin’, gear jammin’, horn honkin’, cruisin’ with the windows down albums I’ve ever heard.
The first song on the CD is the Road Hammers’ original tune, ‘I’m a Road Hammer.’ That upbeat song sets the pace, and the tempo doesn’t slow until the eighth track, ‘Call it a Day.’ The tempo picks right back up again with the next song, ‘Nashville Bound’.
The songs on the Road Hammers’ debut CD make you thirsty for the open road, and the lyrics speak the language of truckers everywhere. How can you not sing along to songs with lines such as “Daddy was a truck driving son of a gun” (Overdrive) or, my personal favourite: “I’m Hell bent and Nashville bound, whiskey bottles by the pound, devil’s trying to keep me down, 100 miles to Geetar Town,” (Nashville Bound)?
The Road Hammers have the trucker lingo down pat, and the lyrics cover the full range of emotions experienced by those who ply the highways day in and day out.
‘Call it a Day’ is a ballad about the challenges of maintaining a marriage while living the life of a long-haul truck driver. “I’ve got one life on the road and one with you at home, and it feels like one too many when I’m gone.”
‘Keep on Truckin” touches on the daily grind truckers battle every day: “Some days I don’t know if I’ll make it by, the price of diesel is getting mighty high.”
But don’t be mistaken, the Road Hammers are not your typical country crooners, as evidenced by upbeat songs that involve everything from brawling with rednecks in Kentucky to driving the back roads to avoid weigh scales.
The lyrics are as compelling as the music is catchy and I routinely find myself singing the songs on the Road Hammers CD long after the music has stopped.
It’s a refreshing reprieve from the mainstream music dominating today’s airwaves.
It’s difficult to pick favourites from the song lineup featured on the Road Hammers CD, but I find myself humming along to some more than others.
They include ‘I’m a Road Hammer,’ ‘Girl on the Billboard,’ ‘Nashville Bound,’ ‘Willin’,’ and the band’s personal favourite cover tune – ‘Hammer Goin’ Down.’