The SteelDrivers and Muscle Shoals – a New Album

Read about The Muscle Shoals Recordings by The Steeldrivers

Nashville’s own The SteelDrivers caught my attention, actually DEMANDED my attention, a few years back.

It was the band’s stunning release Reckless (2010) that I couldn’t listen to enough.  Going back to the band’s debut The SteelDrivers (2008) left me also highly impressed.  The fusion of musical styles was one of the key attractions – some call it neo-bluegrass but you can think of it as a meld of rock, soul and alt. country with a wonderfully heart-worn roots aesthetic – an incredible combination of high-octane bluegrass, the likes of which I’d not heard before or since.  One of the most striking features of the band was the incredible voice of Chris Stapleton.

When I’d heard that two of the group’s founding members and songwriters – Stapleton * and Mike Henderson departed the band, I was wondering what the future would bring.

The band in fact decided to continue, recruited replacements and, with a line-up of Richard Bailey (banjo), Mike Fleming (bass), Gary Nichols (guitar, vocals), Tammy Rogers (fiddle) and Brent Truitt (mandolin), released 2012’s highly acclaimed Hammer Down, without seeming to miss a beat.  That album contained a set of authoritative and intense songs which seamlessly continued the band’s unique path.

Overall, The SteelDrivers have been nominated for three Grammys, four International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) awards and the Americana Music Association’s New Artist of the Year.  I saw The SteelDrivers in person in its new guise in Raleigh North Carolina at the Wide Open Bluegrass Festival in 2013 and the band put on a great set in the middle of a warm early October day.


Mike Fleming and Gary Nichols


Richard Bailey and Brent Truit

That Nashville Sound has reported that The SteelDrivers will be releasing its fourth album The Muscle Shoals Recordings on 16 June 2015 (Rounder Records).

The Muscle Shoals Recordings was recorded in the NuttHouse Recording Studio in Muscle Shoals Alabama and will feature Nichols’ lifelong friend and multi-Americana award-winner Jason Isbell on two songs.  This is extremely tantalising.  The album cover and track list for the new release follow.

steeldrivers muscle shoals sound

The Music Shoals Recordings Track List:
1. Long Way Down
2. Drinkin’ Alone
3. Ashes of Yesterday
4. Day Before Temptation
5. Here She Goes
6. California Chainshaw
7. Hangin’ Around
8. Brother John
9. Six Feet Away
10. Too Much
11. River Runs Red

* Chris Stapleton is about to release his own, highly-anticipated solo debut album – read more


Read about The Muscle Shoals Recordings by The Steeldrivers


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Author: Rob Dickens

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  1. If It Hadn’t Been For Love is one of the greatest songs of the past ten years. Chris sings the hell out of it.

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