The Steel Woods – On Your Time
The Steel Woods’ last effort, 2021’s All of Your Stones, was an emotionally deep record and their strongest album to date. On Your Time builds nicely on that foundation, continuing a deeply introspective collection of songs that perfectly bridge their country and rock influences.
While not exactly a rock opera, in the vein of Tommy or The Wall, the songs from On Your Time mostly center on Uncle Lloyd, a troubled character they first brought into the world on their 2017 debut. Half of the record is written from the point of view of Uncle Lloyd. The first two tracks, “The Man from Everywhere” and “Cut the Grass” allude to needing to grow up and drink less, and trying to keep up when life is quickly spinning out of control; both solid, mid-tempo tracks that paint a vivid picture that’s bound to be relatable to many. But it’s on the slow burn “Devil in This Holer” where the band really shows off their musical chops. The Blues/rock hybrid is possibly the band’s best song yet, recalling Lynyrd Skynyrd at their most vulnerable moments (think “Tuesday’s Gone”). The same can be said of the roaring “Famine Fortune,” a powerful lament about trying to provide for your family. Wes Bayliss’ vocals have never been stronger. The album closes on “If Not for the Rain,” the album’s first single, ends the record on an optimistic tone: “If not for the valley and all of this pain/The top of the mountain would seem just the same/Yeah, I wouldn’t know a good day if not for the rain.”
On Your Time also marks the band’s first full studio record without co-founder guitarist Jason “Rowdy” Cope, who died in 2021 just before the release of their last album. “Some of these songs that I wrote, like ‘Famine Fortune,’ there were a lot of gaps in the lyrics that I kinda left. I thought that the two of us would finish it, and then he passed. It might have been a different song if Rowdy was still here,” says Bayliss. “I think he would be proud of us and this record. You have to move forward in your life. That’s one of the messages I want for my kids and for the fans that come out to our shows.”
Check them out here: https://www.thesteelwoods.com/if-not-for-the-rain/home
Enjoy our interview here: Interview: Wes Bayliss of the Steel Woods