We’ve all suffered a certain kind of early morning shakes, usually when the alarm goes off after a night of too many whiskeys and too little sleep. It’s nothing a good cup of coffee, a brisk shower and a liter of Gatorade can’t cure. Unless, of course, it’s the “Early Morning Shakes” from Tyler, Texas’ Whiskey Myers – a song with a heavy Led Zepplin and Black Crowes hangover and a southern soul groove that lives halfway between the party and the aftermath. The band sings about a gal with “Jack Daniels in her coffee, ice water in her veins,” but she’s not in recovery mode: this is a different kind of early morning shakin’, the kind that rattles your headboard and not your brain.
Their third album, Early Morning Shakes, produced by Dave Cobb (Waylon Jennings and Jamey Johnson) came out last month, and it’s everything you’d expect from a band who name-checks “When the Levee Breaks” but grew up in eastern Texas in the school of outlaw country’s old (David Allen Coe) and new (Hank Williams…junior). Think, Lynyrd Skynyrd, if they were trained by Eric Church – both muddy and slick, with moments of radio-friendly locomotion and others of throwback, reckless soul. They’re never bro-country territory, but they’ll certainly chug a beer or two (or a sixpack or two) – and emotionally-charged lyricism and soaring harmonies are never off-limits, shooting ripping vamps into their songs like acid rain on the Texas plains. Or just acid trips, maybe.
I have to admit, I was a little skeptical when I saw their LP contained a song called “Shelter from the Rain,” a twangy Fleetwood Mac-ian lovesong – it’s hard not to immediately think Dylan, “Shelter from the Storm” and his seminal breakup album, Blood on the Tracks – it’s earnest enough to not be too painful, but low in impact nonetheless. Where the band really soars is on naughty-boy honky tonkers like “Need a Little Time off for Bad Behavior,” which are unabashed whiskey-slinging boot-stompers. Listen to a few of these, and you may end up with the early morning shakes. Which kind? Well, that’s your discretion.
They play Exit/In tonight with Chris Nathan & the Amazing J’s
Watch the band talk “Early Morning Shakes here” :::