Between the Grooves: Hot Damn, Good Lord Almighty, Whiskey Foxtrot Comes Out Swingin

By Jonathan Oost

Birthed out of Winston-Salem, NC in 2017, established regional solo artists Sam Foster and Seth Williams came together to form Whiskey Foxtrot, a conglomerate of the music they love: rock and country, sprinkled with variations of the two throughout many of their songs. After performing acoustic shows for the better part of the first year, they made the move to bring in a full band to expand their sound and push the music in the direction it was meant to be heading. Terry VunCannon (Lap Steel), Brad Cardille (Bass), Steven Worley (Drums) with Seth and Sam sharing guitar duties. After releasing four singles through 2019, the band is finally ready to unleash their debut album Hard Lines & Headlights on February 1st.

The album cover dons the front end of an Oldsmobile 442 with the title in blazing orange letters, an eye catching album cover and letting the listener in on a small theme throughout the ride you’re getting ready to enjoy.

The album kicks off with “Fulton County Night,” an energetic track that fits beautifully as the introduction to the album. Followed up by “Hard Lines & Bitter Pills,” a similar alt-country feel, beautiful lap steel work, and Sam delivering hard truths and coming to grips with them.

The band has a knack for delivering twangy choruses and that might not be more apparent than on the song “Breeze.” A laid back conversation with oneself about the surroundings and circumstances in the sweltering summer heat, “Hot damn, good Lord almighty, won’t ya send me a breeze?” Seth sings in a gritty seasoned voice, a prime summertime jam that’s begging to be played at your BBQ’s. “Turn Off the Headlights” is pure unadulterated Southern Rock, almost vintage Skynyrd-like musically. It’s fun and just rowdy enough to get any crowd going wild throughout riffing guitars and soaring lyrics.

Mellowing out the middle of the record, “First to Know and San Isidro” show off the lyrical chops of the songwriters and allow us a glimpse into the diversity of the band as a whole. The arrangement on “San Isidro” gives me an 80’s rock vibe showing the range of influences that the band pulls from.

Six Seconds, Six Days is as dirty and grimy as the engines it’s talking about building. Described by the band as a “southern grunge” tune, it packs a punch with almost an industrial tone hovering throughout. “I Don’t Wanna Be a Legend” shows the band dipping it’s toes into the Honky Tonk waters and showing that it’s not just their influences that are diverse. A number that expresses the feelings of a young man who’s built for the road, even through its struggles.

Big Top Town,” an honest slow rocker about all of our hometowns; the things that make it great, the things that need some fixin’, and why we’ll always love home and the people that make it special. Rounding out the album are four songs that can give the listener a good idea of who exactly Whiskey Foxtrot is. “The Broken End” is a “done me wrong” song with a catchy rock chorus followed by one of the more fun songs on the album “Last One Out,” which captures Foster letting loose vocally and showing a little attitude. Transporting you to a two lane highway, foot on the gas with the windows down, is “El Camino.” An acoustic track that yearns for the open road and the freedom that it allows, sometimes the only way to clear one’s mind. The final act for this debut is titled “Silver Ball Space Mission.” An instrumental track that is, as you may have guessed, layered with spacey guitars and effects all over it before fading into the tuning of a radio dial that takes a cool little trip through the 12 previous tracks. It’s a subtle ambiance that I believe shows this band isn’t here to just slap some songs together onto a cd. It lets the listener know that they care about the experience and hope one is able to be immersed into the music for the little over an hour that this album takes to get to its destination.

Whiskey Foxtrot blends together well on this debut album, with the drums and bass laying down a beautiful groove throughout. Lap Steel is ever present accenting the songs, taking leads, but never overpowering and the songs take center stage all while allowing each member to shine when necessary.

Recorded at Earthtones Recording and Uwharrie Mountain Sound studios in North Carolina, Hard Lines & Headlights is an album that will immerse you in the sound of a band who just dropped this ride into gear and only, ever so slightly, tap the brakes when they want to.  |  fb  |  buy

Jonathan Oost

Jonathan Oost

Jonathan Oost was born and raised in Owensboro, KY. Home of the International Bluegrass HOF & Museum and the best BBQ mutton in the world. About 20 minutes from the birthplace of Bill Monroe and The Everly Brothers, the area has a rich musical heritage, affording Jonathan the opportunities to expand his musical pallet and experience some of the best Bluegrass and Country pickers in the world.
Jonathan Oost

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