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Premiere: Six String Drag’s “Hard Times, High Times”

February 3, 2015


Raleigh’s own Six String Drag is back after a 17-year recording hiatus with Roots Rock’n’Roll. The seminal alt-country band (they were kickin’ it with Ryan Adams and Whiskeytown in the ’90s) gets points for truth in advertising, as their new LP is a rollicking celebration of vintage rock’n’roll styles.

The track I have the great pleasure of debuting isn’t rock, though: “Hard Times, High Times” is a horns-driven soul tune. Vocalist and songwriter Kenny Roby leads the way with a lush baritone, encouraging a lover (but also pretty much everyone) to hang on through those hard times to get to the good ones again. The backdrop to that crooning vocal is a moving amalgam of motown horns and alt-country twang that works beautifully despite the seemingly disparate parts. It’s a beautiful, poignant tune that would work perfectly as a slow dance for people who don’t do saccharine, lovey-dovey stuff.

Roots Rock’n’Roll comes out next Tuesday, February 10, on Royal Potato Family.

Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of instrumental music. We write about those trying to make the next step in their careers and established artists.

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