Billy Roberts And The Rough Riders – “Today” – Single Review
I often wonder if people hear what I hear.
Like…I certainly assume that anyone out there that had really listened closely to the debut record by Billy Roberts And The Rough Riders back in 2014 would have easily come to the same conclusions as I did – there was something untapped happenin’ – there was something undeniably raw & special starting up there. Did I think it was going to be the career defining record for BR&TheRRs? Nope – but it’d be rare for me to feel that way about any debut for the most-part; even worse, I can’t even imagine being one of those bands or artists out there that is shackled to their first record for the rest of time having it been the best record they ever created. I get it, mind you…in the sense of that timeless adage of ‘you’ve got a lifetime to make your first record and two weeks to make your second’ type-thang…in many ways you’d almost hope that a debut would somehow say it all…but think of how ridiculous that would make just about everything in the aftermath become if that was always the case! The best evolve – straight-up.
And then there are some, like Billy Roberts And The Rough Riders, whereby you FEEL like you experienced the magic of something seriously down-to-earth happening in even the earliest records. You had the opportunity to PROVE to yourself that you’re not actually crazy at all, and that you truly heard what you heard, when you experienced them crush it on records like Go By Myself and Greenbah as the years went on. If you were listening, you could literally and audibly HEAR that the music was continually find a way to build on the last time out…that every time we were hearing from Billy Roberts And The Rough Riders, their current work was their best work – and you can’t ask any band or artist out there for much more than that as a true fan. Earlier in 2020, BR&TheRRs went on to release a record full of revamped & revitalized songs with The Southern Sessions…and if I’m being entirely truthful with you all, that whole record brought a massive smile to my face, every single time I had the honor of playing it. If that album wasn’t the full-proof of both that original specialness we’d all detected and heard in their debut, combined with the experience, professionalism, and the songwriting that has continually had the opportunity to evolve & grow as this band carried on…well…let’s just say if that’s NOT what you heard, you’re missing out on a huge part of this story & a verifiable catalog’s worth of really rad tunes. The Southern Sessions was more than proof we all had every right to believe in the music of Billy Roberts And The Rough Riders from day one – and a true statement on how far this band has come over time.
You could hear that something had clicked beyond any expectation…that the real golden-age of this band was either right then & there with The Southern Sessions – or that they were at the very least, heading full-steam towards it, right around the corner.
You have no idea how relieved I actually was to discover their new single “Today” was as good as it is, and that the momentum established in this band continues to surge at an all-time high. Sure…eventually we see the peak of all music that’s out there, and eventually that slide into the comfort zone – but that’s not what’s happening here “Today” yet at all – this song proves that Billy Roberts And The Rough Riders are fully dialed-in to the vision, scope, scale, and sound at their best – and that they’ve got every intention of riding this wave of inspiration for as long as they possibly can. Good on’em – if this was the music I was making right now I’d want to have it blaring loud’n’proud from every set of speakers in the city I live in; I’m downright PROUD of how these guys are always evolving, rounding out the corners, smoothing out their style & sound, and finding impressive & exciting new ways to bring out their best, every damn time. The hypnotic level of mesmerizing coolness you’ll find in the vibes & bass-line grooves of “Today” make an instant connection and have you completely appreciating all the attention to detail you’ll find in the music. From the incredibly slick production provided by Tanner Lindsey, who also brings the heat to the guitars, to the steady hand of Rory Facione on the drums, to the slyly charismatic vocal performance from the main star of the show – Billy Roberts And The Rough Riders deliver on a smooth groove that you’ll find you always have time for with “Today.” Extremely solid repeat-value in a song such as this.
With the highly accessible, massively appealing, and audibly enticing structure & set of vibes locked into the DNA of this cut, the tight & talented crew of players in Billy Roberts And The Rough Riders are clearly refusing to surrender or go gently into that good night – they’re still on their way up & in their prime; a song with the balance, quality, and strong hooks like “Today” has, 100% completely confirms all this. Through fantastically colorful & bold guitar rhythms to lead you in to the naturally cool & stunningly organic aura of the verses, to the wild harmonica that shows up & the incredible solos you’ll hear in the instrumentation & musicianship on this cut…everything you’ll hear on “Today” will make you want to sit & listen…and then listen again. This single has Billy Roberts And The Rough Riders feeling the flow with unwavering focus – they’re right in the moment on “Today” – and as a result, we’re right there with’em for every second. I love this band, I love the music they’ve made in the past, and I certainly love this shiny new single they’ve got here in review “Today” – you don’t get much more authentic than this cat does; the innate connection that Billy Roberts has to the sound he’s rocking sparks another victory here.
Find more music by Billy Roberts And The Rough Riders at the official page at Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/artist/1wC8JHZE7uERUK1qajiL4e
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