The Shootouts

REVIEW: The Shootouts enlist country greats for the new album “Stampede”


The Shootouts — Stampede

Akron, Ohio, probably isn’t the first place that comes to mind when you think of country bands. In that regard, The Shootouts is a band that is a pleasant surprise.On its previous two albums, The Shootouts have given the world a good collection of honky-tonk songs. On those albums, they proved they are just as capable of delivering a boot-scootin’ dance song as they are of a truly sad country song.

Stampede is the band’s new album, and it gives you a lot of what you already know and love about the band. You’ll do some dancing, and you’ll sing along to some sad songs. However, this album doesn’t just feature The Shootouts. It also features some pillars of the country music world like Marty Stuart. If you’re thinking that an album by The Shootouts can only be better with some country legends, you are 100% correct.

Marty Stuart is the guest on the opening track “Better Things To Do.” This is one of those songs that is sure to get you moving whether you’re in your living room or in a honky-tonk surrounded by people that want nothing more than to dance their troubles away. The song is propelled by an infectious beat that makes it almost impossible to remain still. You’ll also hear some pretty furious picking on the mandolin and some guitar licks that might remind you of some of your favorite honky-tonk artists. If that weren’t enough, it also features the great kiss-off lyrics, “I’ve got better things to do. A better place for me is 100 miles from you.” It’s enough to make you jealous that you didn’t come up with that line yourself, no matter how many times you’ve had a similar thought.

Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel bring some western swing to “One Step Forward.” It’s a song that goes heavy on the fiddle and pedal steel. Meanwhile, the rhythm section has you wishing you were on the floor of a honky-tonk with a dance partner.

If you’re in a band and you need some harmony vocals for a love song, it’s hard to find a better person for the job than Raul Malo. “I’ll Never Need Anyone More” is one of those heartfelt songs that is sure to get couples slow dancing. Malo enriches an already beautiful song by harmonizing on the chorus.

The guests certainly lend a great deal to the songs, but, as The Shootouts have shown on previous albums, they do just fine making great songs on their own. “Run for Cover” incorporates a fair amount of rock and roll, particularly in the saxophone and the rockin’ 88s. Not to mention that the rhythm section lays a good foundation that will make you want to boogie. If you listen to the lyrics of “Must Be a Broken Heart,” you realize that it is a sad country song. However, while the lyrics are sad, the melody is swinging and the lyrics are easy to sing. In other words, it might be the most upbeat sad song out there.

Stampede by The Shootouts is another piece of evidence that country music is still going strong. From uptempo and swinging to toned-down ballads, the band shows that it can cover the spectrum. No matter the tempo of the song, the lyrics are always easy to sing, making it just as good for a road trip as it is for a honky-tonk. The album is available everywhere now.

Leave a Reply!