It’s been a great time to be a country music fan over the last few weeks as incredible album releases from a cavalcade of artists has put a stress test on people’s physical copy budgets, and pushed Saving Country Music to maximum capacity for publishing reviews. But these are all good problems to have.
If you’re looking for the real deal, its name is Pat Reedy. A hard-traveled kind of guy who got his music education busking on street corners in New Orleans and traveling the country to play backyard shows in beat up rigs, he has the kind of natural poetry of a drifter that many artists envy, but few ever put the effort out to actually acquire.
I remember saying it myself when the Carolina Chocolate Drops first came on the scene. Excellent band, and great to see some diversity represented in country and Americana music in a way that illustrates the role African American’s played in creating roots music. But there was something a bit off about watching a black band playing for a distinctly white audience.
Those true, hardcore fans of music always want to keep digging until they find that original nugget of a musical movement or influence, or in the case of Pat Reedy, the revitalization of a style of country and roots that has been forgotten by neglect throughout the generations.
From opening for Dwight and Willie, to signing to Thirty Tigers, to now getting the opportunity to play big stages at Stagecoach in April, and Bonnaroo in June, the story of Luke Bell is shaping up to be very similar to that of Sturgill Simpson’s when his career was in its infant stages. But there’s still a lot of ground to cover.