Live: The Cadillac Three

They’re southern. ’Nuff said.

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Three guys who sound like four or five.

A drummer who hardly sits down, a bass player who doesn’t stand up because he plays lap steel guitar as well, and a frontman, Jaren Johnston, who can sing like a crooner and thrash his guitar like a maniac. The Cadillac Three are no ordinary band.

As simple as ABC but as serious as a heart attack, they combine hard rock and country in a way that sounds both homespun and arena-friendly. Baseball caps that get screwed through 180 degrees for no obvious reason. Time signatures familiar from their bourbon-soaked Tennessee Mojo debut reinvented by a band as tight as a drum, but loose enough to stretch out because of telepathic bonding. Skynyrd meets AC/DC? Could be – Johnston combines a lazy southern drawl with a leering grin rarely seen since the passing of Bon Scott.

Simultaneously heavy and funky, they manage to party like it’s 1969 while sounding as here-and-now as they are in-your-face. Imagine vintage, Roger Bain-produced Budgie tackling bluegrass and you’re getting close. Hooks so deadly that guys young and old headbang, but sassy enough to get girls dancing – really.

They’ve written a bona fide classic in Get Your Buzz On – a song that namechecks both Skynyrd and the Rolling Stones, with a tune that either of those bands would be proud to call their own.

Cadillac Three: a good time guaranteed, every time.

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