If you’re a Southern rock fan, and your haul from Halloween and Christmas leave you feeling short changed, wait until January 18th when The Steel Woods unleash their second album Old News upon the world via Thirty Tigers/Woods Music.
Formed around singer/guitar player Wes Bayliss and guitar player Jason “Rowdy” Cope, this hard-driving Southern rock band can do Black Sabbath covers in a Southern drawl, while sending crowds crazy with their own original tunes. The two met at a one-off gig in Nashville, and after a fishing retreat together, decided to give something new a shot. Now they comprise the primary songwriters of The Steel Woods, with bass player Johnny Stanton, and drummer Jay Tooke filling out the roster.
After releasing their debut album Straw in the Wind in 2017, The Steel Woods immediately shot up the Southern Rock depth charts, aided by big opportunities opening for Blackberry Smoke, Miranda Lambert, Cody Jinks, Jamey Johnson, and Dwight Yoakam. Now they look to take another big step with the new album recorded at the Echo Mountain Studio in Asheville, North Carolina, and Blackbird Studio in Nashville.
Along with a bunch of new originals, the 15-song record includes a serious selection of covers that the band releases in tribute to some of the artists who directly influenced their sound, and have recently passed on. This includes “Whipping Post” by Gregg Allman, Tom Petty’s “Southern Accents,” “Are The Good Times Really Over” by Merle Haggard, “The Catfish Song” by Townes Van Zandt, “Changes” by Black Sabbath, and “One of These Days” by slain country music artist Wayne Mills, who was a close friend of Jason “Rowdy” Cope.
But The Steel Woods wet your whistle with a brand new original, and the title track off the new album (listen below). A stone cold and blistering tune delving directly into the political divide ripping apart the fabric of the United States, no track could be more timely than “Old News,” and its release feels a bit more important than your average lead single.
1. “All of These Years”
2. “Without You”
3. “Changes” (Black Sabbath)
4. “Wherever You Are”
5. “Blind Lover”
6. “Compared to a Soul”
7. “Old News”
8. “Anna Lee”
9. “Red River (The Fall of Jimmy Sutherland)”
10. “The Catfish Song” (Townes Van Zandt)
11. “Rock That Says My Name”
12. “One of These Days” (Wayne Mills)
13. “Are the Good Times Really Over (I Wish a Buck Was Still Silver)” (Merle Haggard)
14. “Whipping Post” (Gregg Allman)
15. “Southern Accents” (Tom Petty)