Low Water Bridge Band – Back to the Valley
If a band loves its home enough, it can write and play songs that make the listener ache for a place they’ve never even been. Low Water Bridge Band hails from the Shenandoah Valley of Western Virginia, and their country-Southern rock-string band hybrid evokes not only their home, but creates enough longing to explain why they keep returning. Their second album, the aptly titled Back to the Valley, has these Virginia boys venturing beyond their geographical comfort zone while reminding themselves about what makes home so special.
Back to the Valley leads off with the eerie “Siren of the Shenandoah.” Backed by acoustic guitar, organ and banjo and inspired by a the cries of a fox heard during an overnight camping trip, songwriter Logan Moore sings of other late-night river doings – “I laid her down one night, on that riverside/I pushed her off and waved goodbye” – and the haunts that won’t end – “Then one cold dark night, with big and fearful eyes/I heard that old familiar cry.”
Small hometowns, regardless of geography, have shared traits, and Alex Kerns writes about a key one in “Small Town Affair.” The band’s bass player (and brother to drummer/co-producer Riley) knows that, in a small burg pretty much anywhere, there aren’t secrets. The acoustic tune, spiced with pedal steel and harmonies augmented by guests Laura Steinmetz and Jessica Mitchell, realizes that painful splits are nearly inescapable – “All that I know, is life doesn’t care/And all that I know is my heart keeps a-breakin’.” A little more optimism is found in the slow-waltz-meets-Doo-wop “Hope It’s You,” a Riley Kerns-penned slice of pining – “Who’s going to brighten up my mood/I don’t know, I just hope it’s you” – with a bit of soulful longing provided by Jake Smith’s baritone sax.
The best stuff on Back to the Valley, though, comes from the band’s sense of place – it’s where Low Water Bridge Band formed, and it’ll always be their musical center. It’s why the album essentially ends back where it begins – riverside, with a dead body. “She Don’t Answer” is a twisty murder ballad full of organ, resonator guitar and an uneasy resolution for both parties. He’s (finally) without a woman who clearly made him unhappy – “I got home that peaceful night/And I did not have to fight” – but she’s slipped the bonds of a violent man – “She don’t answer to him, no more.” No one wins, really, but, as the songs of Low Water Bridge Band document, that’s often the way it is in small towns.
Song I Can’t Wait to Hear Live: “600 Reasons” in which the band can’t wait to escape to Nashville – “We rolled into town, we threw down” – only to bug out of town even faster (and lighter) – “She sent us home poorer than before.” Rudy Bxdyk’s fiddle and Justin Carver’s pedal steel, plus the boys’ harmonies, show off the band’s musical depth.
Back to the Valley was produced by Riley Kerns and Logan Moore, recorded and mixed by Kerns and mastered by Isaac Foltz. All songs written by Low Water Bridge Band: Logan Moore (lead vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, harmonies), Alex Kerns (vocals, bass guitar, acoustic guitar, harmonies), Riley Kerns (drums, harmonies), James Montgomery (lead electric guitar), Justin Carver (pedal steel guitar, banjo, resonator guitar) and Rudy Bzdyk (piano, organ, fiddle, trumpet). Additional musicians on the album include Micah Howard (chorus vocals), Laura Steinmetz and Jessica Mitchell (backup vocals) and Jake Smith (baritone sax).
Go here to order Back to the Valley (out November 17): https://lwbbmusic.com/merch
Check out tour dates here: https://lwbbmusic.com/shows