Hailing from Floyd, Virginia, The Deer Run Drifters who formed in 2012 starting picking up gigs at places like rodeos, nightclubs and festivals. They recently released their debut album entitled Appalachian Blues, which explores and infuses genres such as country, Americana and bluegrass. There is a timeless almost organic quality to the songs that you don’t find in most modern country songs. The songs sound like something you might hear from a young group of musicians playing around a campfire by their wooden cabin. You won’t find distorted guitars or over compressed drums on this album, what you will find is warm strings that come from acoustic guitars, banjos, violins and more. The lead singer’s voice only adds to the rustic vintage vibe that these instruments create. He sings in a high pitch twang highly conducive to a country song.
The album starts with an upbeat song with a rather depressing title called “Sober No More.” It’s a very catchy tune and felt like it good be a sing-a-long drinking song even though he was singing about how he “could not face the world sober no more.” Next up is “Blackberry Wine,” which weaves together banjo, fiddle, bass and acoustic to create a bed of warmth for the vocalist to sing over. The string work is excellent and proves they don’t need a drummer to bring energy to their songs.
“Mama Oh Mama” introduces a bit more melancholy as well as some welcome harmonica while “The Diner Song” talks about his invitation to a waitress to leave it all behind and join him on a journey. Be careful while listening to “Lowlife” because you may shed a tear upon hearing the melody and lyrics.
They close with arguably the best song on the album called “Appalachian Blues,” which brings together the strengths of the band.
This is an album that at its heart relies on well-written songs that feel as pure as the hills they came from.
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