Saints Eleven is a band described by vocalist Jeff Grossman as “just four rock and roll guys out of the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex playing country music.” The new EP This Town shows that not only to be a succinct summary, but also an accurate one with guitars and rhythms like The Backsliders and healthy doses of pedal steel to give it some twang.
One thing that can set a band apart is to write songs about themes that have been covered countless times and make those songs seem something other than trite. With just the first two songs, the band shows that it can bring something worthwhile to some of the most familiar themes in music.
“My Home Is” addresses a musician’s life on the road. Jeff Grossman sings about watching his kid grow up with pictures sent on the phone. He also sings about the promise of coming home soon. The line “Right now the highway is where my home is” was written long before the Coronavirus hysteria, but it’s eerie to think about how many musicians at the moment wish their home was still on the road. While the theme is something you’ve heard countless times, it is still a song that will get you moving with a danceable rhythm and a pedal steel part that will get you two-stepping.
Another familiar topic is a love gone cold, which is discussed in “Love in Hell”. While the pedal steel in “My Home Is” gets you moving, the pedal steel in this one takes on a fittingly sad tone as Grossman sings about two people who just don’t seem to care about each other anymore. You can feel the distance between the two people in the story and you can’t help but feel sad that they’ll keep plodding along when he sings, ”We’ll keep livin’ this love in hell as we know it.”
This EP only has six songs. However, in those six songs, the band gives you plenty of opportunity to dance, whether it’s slow dancing to “Love in Hell” or letting it all hang out on “This Town”, which is on par with Blackberry Smoke. With only six songs, this EP grabs your interest enough to explore what else this band has to offer. And you’ll probably do plenty of exploring. This Town will be available everywhere on March 27. Order your copy here.