Coming out of Rome, Georgia and having listed influences that include Neil Young and Little Feat, it is no wonder that the Georgia Thunderbolts have started a trend, folk are growing their beards, filing down bottlenecks and knocking back jars of moonshine to share the love. Because, not only do they look the part, they sound pretty authentic as well. Ok, no-one can be compared in the same breath as Lynryd Skynyrd, in their part of the world, without having a shot gun aimed at their balls, but they do come close. In a recent interview I read, vocalist T.J Lyle, came across as honest, laidback and without any airs of grandeur, even with that impressive name. The EP consists of 5 tracks, which see Lyle and his four compatriots, offering us the first ever songs from the Thunderbolts.
‘Looking For An Old Friend’ is not only the first song on the EP, it’s the first that the guys wrote together. They try to write in a timeless and contemporary fashion and think this is a bit special, well I have to agree, they have achieved just that with this song. Very simple and full of that Southern, easy going, warm and inviting harmony. ‘So You Wanna Change The World’ has more guitar twang and Lyle’s lyrics are written from his experiences of everyday life. It’s as pure as they come and the 2 guitars from Riley Couzzourt and Logan Tolbert are immaculate. ‘Lend A Hand’ has more uplifting swagger, there’s a flowing riff and the vocals are clear, moody and make the hairs stand on your proverbial back. It’s more in the ‘Black Stone Cherry’ and ‘Blackberry Smoke’ style, both of whom the Thunderbolts have performed with.
‘Spirit Of A Workin Man’ is an example of how this band can capture the essence of those early Neil Young, Allman Brothers and Buffalo Springfield numbers. A quote from T.J sums up the song – “That’s our anthem, it’s got a deep lesson to it. You can’t knock down the little man. Everybody has a say-so. You strive to do better, persevere, and pull through hard times, if you have a strong faith and spirit.” ’Set Me Free’ is a lengthy track, a constant and catchy riff accompanies the soulful and bluesy voice of Lyle. Every note and every single word is delivered with a level of feeling, that I haven’t heard for a long time. The frontman hits the higher octaves so fervently and in an almost gospel like way, making this song my favourite. I haven’t compared them to Lynryd Skynyrd on purpose, as although they do resemble that band, you would think that is all they are about, when in fact they go much deeper in their blackwater roots to produce their inspirational work.
I think The Georgia Thunderbolts can be heralded as a truly up to the minute and exceptional new Southern Rock/Blues band, with a genuine outlook and songs that even the die hard ‘Skynyrd’ fans can admire. Recorded at the iconic Barrick Studios in Glasgow Kentucky, engineered by David Barrick and produced by Richard Young, the EP has a 100% perfect sound, an incredible clear cut finish and is out on Mascot Records. The Thunderbolts are currently writing more material and once the pandemic has passed, they will hit the road.
The band are; TJ Lyle [lead vocalist], Riley Couzzourt [guitar], Logan Tolbert [guitar], Zach Everett [bass, harmony vocals, keys], and Bristol Perry [drums].
1. Looking For An Old Friend
2. So You Wanna Change The World
3. Lend A hand
4. Spirit Of A Workin’ Man
5. Set Me Free
‘Can be heralded as a truly up to the minute and exceptional new Southern Rock/Blues band’
Highlights – Lend A Hand , Set Me Free
Check out the social pages for more info and get a copy of the EP – HERE