October 6th just got to feeling a lot farther away after it was announced as the date that modern Southern rock titans The Steel Woods will release their new album On Your Time. Produced by lead singer and guitar player Wes Bayliss, the album will be released on the band’s Wood’s Music label via Thirty Tigers.
On Your Time comes after a tumultuous period for the band. Right before they were readying the release of their last album All of Your Stones in 2021, founding member and beloved guitar player Jason “Rowdy” Cope died from complications from diabetes at the age of 42. Previously playing with Jamey Johnson and others, Rowdy’s passing hit the independent country community hard. But with the blessings of the family and after some soul searching, The Steel Woods decided to continue on with guitarist Tyler Powers sliding into the lead guitar spot.
The first taste of new music from The Steel Woods is called “If Not For The Rain” and references how hard times help you to appreciate the good ones. “This is a song I wrote with Taylor McCall in between recording sessions for this record,” Wes Bayliss says. “It was the first time I’ve ever written with him. As a band, we have seen our fair share of stormy weather and now have a new-found perspective and appreciation for the journey ahead.”
Though The Steel Woods are notorious for putting on hard charging Southern rock shows that at times veer into the metal range, it’s the lyricism that gives fans of the band ample themes to explore. Saving Country Music previously tracked the story of Della Jane, Anna Lee, and Jimmy Sutherland over multiple albums by The Steel Woods, similar how the character “Lorrie” is recurring in the song universe of the Turnpike Troubadours.
We’ll have to see if the story of Jimmy Sutherland’s murder comes up on the new album, but The Steel Woods have already let it be known that On Your Time with loosely follow the trajectory of another character named Uncle Lloyd who was first introduced on their debut album via a song of the same name. “Uncle Lloyd” was written by Darrell Scott, so it will be interesting to see how the band develops that song into a deeper narrative.
Joining singer/guitarist Wes Bayliss and guitarist Tyler Powers is bassist Johnny Stanton and drummer Isaac Senty. All three of the previous albums by The Steel Woods earned high marks for songwriting, musicianship, and originality while remaining grounded in Southern rock roots. We should expect On Your Time to be no different.
On Your Time is now available for pre-order.
1. The Man From Everywhere
2. Cut the Grass
3. Devil in This Holler
4. Famine Fortune
5. On Your Time
6. You Don’t Even Who Who I Am
7. Border Lord
8. Stories to Tell to Myself
9. Broken Down Dam
10. If Not for the Rain