It’s rare for me to see a new act come out that leaves you knowing in your heart they are going to be big. Say hello to Gentlemen and Scholars and the new face of Southern Rock. These guys come out of the gates smoking on their brand new album “Revelry” and don’t look back. I know that one of the most popular tunes here will be “Hold It Down”, but that’s just the door opening to one of the best Southern rock albums I’ve ever heard in a very long time. Jeremiah Galey (Vocals, Guitars), Patrick Brady (Guitars), Shane Strickland (Bass), and Marco Vaughn (Drums) – is a band born and bred in southern Indiana that’s restored my faith in good ole rock n’ roll with a southern twist. These guys will keep your foot tapping the floorboard and your head bobbing and weaving.
Having grown up in listening to the Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynard and other great bands of that era, how terrific it is to once again hear that kind of tremendous musicianship and freedom of spirit from Gentlemen and Scholars. They have it all, from great harmonies (both vocal and guitar) to bass and percussion. But they don’t just play the music, they feel the music, and you can hear the difference in every track. Lead singer Jeremiah Galey is an awesome performer who is right at home with blues and good old classic southern rock. I’ve never seen them in person but you can bet I will as soon as I get a chance.
There are some really classy rock tunes on here, from the swamp-heavy guitars of the “Smooth & Fire” to the upbeat, drum-led swaggering hook of the more grinding “Way She Goes”. “Cruisin’” follows a slow-an’-easy groove that builds from beautifully dirty guitar riffs to powerful vocal climaxes. And with Galey on the mic, it’s impossible to resist. “Behind The Wheel” brings the rough and raw taste of real rock n’ roll, not the compressed junk your radio plays.
Gentlemen and Scholars have obviously worked hard at their craft, honing their skills. The hard work has paid off from the moment it appears in a haze of herbal smoke and whiskey fumes on “Right City”, delivered with a charm and enthusiasm that is impossible to deny. The album closes with the stripped down and visceral title track “Revelry”.
Apart from the usual classic blues and southern rock bands, bits and pieces of the Black Crowes, ZZ Top and Govt’ Mule all come to mind in certain places across this album, which is not an indication of any copycatting, but rather a sign of creative and performance quality. The album “Revelry”, is a musical journey that takes the listener on a tour of Gentlemen and Scholars’ many influences, all tied together by the vocal and instrumental skill, as well as the enthusiasm of the band itself.
Aggression and grit is the order of the day here and almost feels like a statement: Southern rock can indeed be heavy when it wants to. In this modern age of Southern Rock’s renaissance, Gentlemen and Scholars can certainly be placed among the top of the list. There’s just that indescribable quality to their music that makes you go slack-jawed when you hear them.