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Backseat Molly - Texas Not Tennessee
Review By: George Peden, CSO Staff Journalist

The five-piece band Backseat Molly sum it up in the title cut to their debut album. Texas Not Tennessee is more an intended defiance than an album name. These spirited, youthful rockers have set their bullseye aim on home state popularity.

And it’s working.

The title cut is doing good business on local radio, and the album is finding favor with sections of the international market. These guys play and pump industrial twang, loud and hard, unafraid to push the often blurred boundaries of what is pop and what is country. With a lead vocalist who does not shy his responsibilities, a fiddle player who stokes the needed fire and a raft of guitars that can cut deep, along with a working set of songs that will not leave you alone, the band is energetic and exciting.

The creation of lead singer Steven Callaway, the band has been together in this form since early 2009. Their sound, liken it to Bon Jovi with fiddles, comes complete with lead guitarist Stevie Jeminez, drummer Tim Phelan, bass player Kory Prince and David Sanders on fiddle. Self-managed and independent, the group play mainly band written songs, with Callaway the main force.

And there’s no doubting, given exposure, time and opportunity Callaway could make a fine songwriter. He’s penned seven of the ten songs here, as well as bringing them to life as one of the album’s producers. He has the blend right – there’s not a dud in the pack, with all songs easily lending themselves to repeated plays. And that’s always the sign of a good tune.

These guys from around Palestine, TX must be exciting live because they sound charged and fired on disc. Tracks like the hard rocked “Texas Not Tennessee,” with its full tilt guitars and hard pounded drums sets the tempo for an album that is more party than sentiment.

However, for those who crave tears and remorse, there are a couple of standout heartaches. “Ask Me While I’m Drinkin’ asks for conversation liberated by pale ale, while “Love Song” is a fiddle drenched ache and “I Do Too” is a lovin’ and leavin’ tale of regret.

Overall, this is a standout debut.

The album is available now from their web site: www.myspace.com/backseatmollymusic



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