REVIEW: The Georgia Thunderbolts – Can We Get a Witness

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Can anyone else relate to the feeling that, every once in a while, you just have to stop and listen to some classic rock, yet there isn’t anything new because we don’t live in the ’70s? Well fear not! We became acquainted with THE GEORGIA THUNDERBOLTS last year when they released their self-titled EP, and they didn’t wait long to give us their debut, “Can We Get a Witness,” which is due for release via Mascot Label Group on October 15th, 2021. If you need that sweet southern American rock style with a hint of a modern flare, this is an album to check out!

“Can We Get a Witness” begins fresh and clean with a new song, “Take it Slow,” which does anything but take it slow, as it helps guide the listeners into THE GEORGIA THUNDERBOLTS‘ style. Starting with hard rockin’ riffs, twangy harmonica, and fresh vocals, it’s not the highest tempo but replaces speed with artistic flare, genre loyalty, and general quality.

The album does include all five of the songs from the EP, which might feel a bit cheap normally, except that “Can We Get a Witness” is a pretty long album at not ten but thirteen tracks, two of which are covers, making up for the familiarity. If you happened to check out last year’s EP, you may recognize all four of the next tracks, though they are fortunately not in the same order as before.

“Midnight Rider” is the next new offering… or is it, as it’s a cover of the ALLMAN BROTHERS‘s original classic rock track. This is a pretty solid cover, amping up the rock with distortion and a good dose of the band’s passion for the style. Then we hit the feel-good “Be Good to Yourself,” which is such a beautiful recreation of the old Frankie Miller blues-rock sound that I had to stop myself from putting it on repeat for the rest of the day.

The harmonica comes back with a flourish and then some in “Half Glass Woman,” a bluesy, rockin’ piece with strong energy, followed by the somewhat more mid-tempo, country-driven “Dancin’ with the Devil,” which opens softly with a tapping beat and the vocals in the forefront, before the full band brings it all together in the chorus. The listener then reaches the title track, which opens on a guitar line that draws the listener in, adding some surprise flavor before the vocals get started. This track has one of the most powerful choruses on the album, really highlighting what TJ Lyle can do.

A rockin’ riff starts off “Walk Tall Man,” an empowering, positive song about being the best version of yourself that maintains the band’s high standard of execution. “It’s Alright” was released as an advanced single in September, working as another laid-back, catchy song that would be great on a warm summer afternoon, somewhat reminiscent of the vibe I get from the STEVE MILLER BAND. The album then winds up with the final familiar track, “Set Me Free,” which was also the EP closer. This song proved to be a strong summary of the band’s sound, feeling very final, and remains so on this release, only further expanded now that we have heard more material. There’s a strong blues vibe as well, showing off more of Lyle‘s classic rock flare, as well as his best wails.

THE GEORGIA THUNDERBOLTS are the perfect blend of classic rock with a hint of modernity to bring up the overall sound quality. Though there aren’t a lot of high-energy tracks, the band excels at drawing inspiration from the classics of blues, rock, and country, to create a stylish blend that fits in with both classics and modern hits alike. These guys would be perfect in a tour lineup with SHAMAN’S HARVEST or even Cory Marks. Here’s hoping we get an opportunity to hear them live someday!

Tracklist

  1. Take it Slow
  2. Lend a Hand
  3. So You Wanna Change the World
  4. Looking for an Old Friend
  5. Spirit of a Workin’ Man
  6. Midnight Rider (Allman Brothers cover)
  7. Be Good to Yourself (Frankie Miller cover)
  8. Half Glass Woman
  9. Dancin’ with the Devil
  10. Can I Get a Witness
  11. Walk Tall Man
  12. It’s Alright
  13. Set Me Free

Lineup

TJ Lyle [lead vocalist]

Riley Couzzourt [guitar]

Logan Tolbert [guitar]

Zach Everett [bass, harmony vocals, keys]

Bristol Perry [drums]

Label

Mascot Label Group

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