You’ve heard all the singles: Irish Grass, Doin’ Nuthin’, and most recently 60 Grit. We’re finally ready for the main course – the release of Rockford Road‘s full-length album on 6/25. 60 Grit is a 12-track production featuring a wide variety of sounds, spanning from soft singer-songwriter sounds to driving rock, and a little bit of everything in between.
If you’re not yet familiar with this group, Rockford Road was founded by drummer Jim Davidson and multi-instrumentalist Bob Mahan. Based in Richmond, VA, the two joined forces with bassist/vocalist Tom Wisneski and rhythm guitarist/vocalist Mike Lara to solidify their lineup (this album also features Victoria Cottrell on vocals and Casey Cranford on saxophone). The band previously released the album Road to Sabattis in 2018, and 60 Grit is most definitely a continuation of that sound; a sound we still think will resonate with fans of 70’s style classic rock and folk-rock alike.
HERE’S WHAT WE DUG MOST…
There are a number of stand-out tracks on this record (all three of the previously aforementioned singles among them). Meant To Be is also noteworthy, bringing us a smoky saxophone performance over a dark arrangement and a beautiful duet, the ethereal vocals of Cottrell always a welcome addition (don’t miss the vocal run at 1:10 – it’s a showstopper).
Socks on the Floor Blues takes us in – surprise – a very bluesy direction. The classic shuffle and apologetic, woe-is-me attitude combined with a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor balance the familiar melancholy with lightheartedness.
The softer acoustic base of One Step Ahead, One Step Behind has a bit of a tropical lilt to it. The island percussion is a welcome shift towards a lighter overall tone, but the chorus keeps us rooted in a soft rock sound. The saxophone work from Cranford is showcased especially well in this one; intricate riffs executed incredibly smoothly.
We also love Temptation for its bold, driving percussion and firey songwriting. This album is chock-full of brilliant lyricism and poignant lyrics, but on occasion, a particular gem of a line will stand out above the others. On this track the pre-chorus does a brilliant job of painting a passionate, forbidden romance in a few short words, working in perfect tandem with the tension-building close harmonies:
“You passionately crucify, surrender is so sweet
Wrap your arms around me and let me taste defeat“
OUR FAVORITE TRACK…
Though we’re awfully partial to Irish Grass, we’d be hard-pressed to pick a true favorite between it and Still Loving You. Cottrell’s vocals are powerful here, and the rapid-fire beat gives this track Heart vibes at times. The hook is a total earworm, endlessly catchy, and a bit on the pop-rock side of things in execution, giving it a bit of a more modern feel. Combine it with an understated addition of the sax, a couple of ripping guitar solos, and a great dynamic build across the track – the entire band is at the top of their game on this one.
If we boiled it all down to a single word, the music of Rockford Road is, at its core, real. Real musicians, real instruments, real stories, a real sound. 60 Grit is a brilliant showing of the band’s skill, cohesion, and individual style – they are indeed a bastion of authenticity in a sea of autotune and synthesizers, and the difference is noticeable and entirely refreshing. If classic rock – or modern rock with an undeniably classic edge – is something you enjoy, we can guarantee you’ll love the work and artistry on display in 60 Grit.
BELOW: Check out our full artist interview with Rockford Road, listen to 60 Grit, and connect with their website and social media platforms. Please support Rockford Road by visiting them online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing their music, or attending a live show! And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!
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Check out our interview with ROCKFORD ROAD:
Follow, stream, download & connect with ROCKFORD ROAD online:
Listen to 60 GRIT by ROCKFORD ROAD:
60 Grit Premieres on June 25th, 2021