A Thousand Horses: Southernality

The South rises again with this rip-snorting debut.

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Nashville’s A Thousand Horses formed around five years ago after singer Michael Hobby and lead guitarist Bill Satcher started playing together while at school in South Carolina. They became an active group after being joined by the latter’s bassist cousin Graham Deloach, then singer-guitarist Zach Brown, both from Georgia.

Grabbing any gig they could, the band built a grass-roots following before getting their first taste of music biz flakiness. That could have finished them off, but they were asked to contribute music to a remake of the Footloose movie.

Regrouping with the Allman Brothers as prime inspiration, the band took off on the trajectory that has produced their new album. They manage to straddle elements such as the Stonesy Exile-era roll of First Time, the barnyard pummel of Trailer Trash and the moonshine swoon of Tennessee Whiskey in their gritty new blend of southern rock with Black Crowes flavours, further enhanced by gospel-tinged backing singers.

Breakthrough single Smoke likens a relationship to fag addiction but, on the basis of this hefty debut, it’s all about to flame on for Nashville’s dogged four horsemen.

Kris Needs

Kris Needs is a British journalist and author, known for writings on music from the 1970s onwards. Previously secretary of the Mott The Hoople fan club, he became editor of ZigZag in 1977 and has written biographies of stars including Primal Scream, Joe Strummer and Keith Richards. He's also written for MOJO, Record Collector, Classic Rock, Prog, Electronic Sound, Vive Le Rock and Shindig!