Hailing from Birmingham, Alabama, and now native to Nashville, Jacob Needham & the Blue Trees are a talented four piece writing, recording and performing their unique and exciting brand of Southern Americana Groove Rock. Not sure what Southern Americana Groove Rock is? Best check out their storming debut album, Procrastinated Memoirs. It’s good. Real good. These guys have talent in all departments and we reckon Spectra have snapped up a band that has genuine potential to make a lasting impression.
Headed by a frontman with a personality bigger than his beard, Jacob Needham is talented. His authoritative voice is distinctive and oozes confidence. The Blue Trees are equally gifted, playing with flair, distinction and a degree of unity that belies the fact they’ve only been together for three years. James Tyler Cody is a phenomenal guitarist with fingers faster than Usain Bolt. Ben Trexel’s an experienced bassist who’s not afraid to get down and dirty, and RaShaun Whetstone keeps everything on-point with drum beats that keep better time than a Rolex.
Procrastinated Memoirs comprises twelve tracks of pure American Rock heaven. Released by the Spectra Music Group earlier this month, it’s diverse and pushes boundaries but maintains a strong sense of cohesion throughout. The album kicks off in style and with a slight twist – the ethereal intro to Traffic puts you at ease and leaves you expecting a ballad. You start to relax…BLAM…the big guns come out. Bass. Drums. Guitar. Snarling vocals. It’s energetic, exhilarating and everything a rock song should be.
Following on is Therapist, which dials things back a notch. Its emotional lyrics paint a picture of conflict and confusion within a relationship that’s teetering on the brink. It’s smart, sincere and proves these guys can actually put pen to paper. Vanilla Salt Black Voodoo brings the noise back – it’s chock full of deep guitar riffs, bass with attitude and twisted lyrics that are perfectly delivered, and Next Words you Say proves just how versatile Needham is as a vocalist. Avalanche is pure, sophisticated and is the kind of track average bands can only dream of writing. It will undoubtedly appeal to a wide audience and underlines the band’s potential to cross genres and build a fan base that stretches far and wide.
Procrastinated Memoirs comes into its own with the oh-so-catchy Alabama Baby. You’ve probably seen the video – it’s won The Blue Trees a lot of new admirers. The track is the first of several smokin’ hot, Southern stormers that could’ve been laid down at Muscle Shoals. Alabama Baby epitomises fun times, boys & girls, beer and barbeques. Get it on your summertime playlist before you regret it! While you’re there, add Radio too. It’s yet another stand out track in which everyone pulls their weight. It’s got so many elements to it that it could easily fall on its face, but it doesn’t. And just when you think J T Cody’s lightning fretwork has snatched glory, Needham slams home an accomplished rap that totally works.
By this stage we’re thinking things surely can’t get any better. We’ve been worked into a party-ready frenzy and it’s only 4pm on a Tuesday afternoon. Oh wait…they’ve done it again…Rhythm & Brews comes swaggering along, tipping its hat to Johnny Cash and throwing in some catchy harmonica and banjo twists for good measure. It’s our personal favourite and left us mulling the possibility that Jacob Needham is in fact the bastard love child of Ronnie Van Zant and Mick Jagger. Probably not, but with his range, attitude and tone, he sounds like he could be. These guys rock; Just Dropped In proves it. Dirty, edgy, raw and accented by yet another unbelievable guitar solo.
King without a Crown is a luscious piece of soft Southern rock that starts to wind the party down. It’s classy and well measured without sounding dull, allowing Needham to show a silkier side of his voice. Ol’ Bones is modern rock that steps away from swampland juke joints and into the city with its contemporary, urban sound that is still undeniably rock music. The final track, Say your Prayers, eases you back to reality with a soft landing – the perfect comedown from one of the most exciting albums we’ve heard this year.
Jacob Needham & the Blue Trees have dropped a bombshell with Procrastinated Memoirs. An incendiary mix of effortless rhythms, raging guitar solos, confident lyrics and a front man who delivers. It’s a must-listen album and we can’t help but think this is the start of something very big indeed.
If you want to get in touch with Jacob Needham & the Blue Trees, contact Bobby Collins, Director of Operations at Spectra Music Group:
(O) 843.628.3555 Ext. 101 – (F) 843.494.9626 – http://www.spectramusicgroup.com
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