Shenandoah - Every Road
Shenandoah are truly legends of the country music history. For their 2020 album Every Road they gathered a bunch of legendary names of the genre. For example, they meet Luke Bryan, Dierks Bentley or Carly Pearce in their songs. This definitely sounds promising. The album has been released on 13th November 2020.
Shenandoah – About The Band
Shenandoah is a country music band, which is originally from Muscle Shoals, Alabama. The founding members are Marty Raybon, Ralph Ezell, Stan Thiorn, Jim Seales and Mike McGuire. Raybon and McGuire are still part of the band, which has been reformed after a 1997 split. They nowadays perform with Travis Mobley, Paul Sanders, Austrin Crum and Donnie Allen. Ezell, who left the band in 1996 and re-joined in 2002, died in 2007. Their breakthrough was the 1988 album The Road Not Taken, which included three songs, The Church on Cumberland Road, Sunday in the South and Two Dozen Roses, which were on the top of the US and Canadian country charts. The album was in the top 10 of the country charts of both country and had gold status in the US.
Overall, the band performed better in individual songs than on the long player side, Next to You, Next to Me (1990) and If Bubba Can Dance (I Can Too) (1994) again topped the charts in both North American country music markets. In addition, there were multiple Top 10 singles. After the 2003 All American Country album, the band almost took 15 years before releasing Reloaded. Every Road is the tenth album by Shenandoah.
Shenandoah – Every Road – Track by Track
The ten track album lasts 33 minutes.The first nine songs are collaborations with other country music acts – the final song is Shenandoah only.
1. I’d Take Another One of Those (feat. Zac Brown Band)
The album starts with a rather slow, classic country track in collaboration with the Zac Brown Band. Cool sound and interesting starter – but super-hit to me.
2. Make It Til Summertime (feat. Luke Bryan)
Make It Til Summertime feels much more like a good listen – maybe it is simply because I love Luke Bryan’s voice? He is definitely adding more character. Very classic country sound – and the lyrics are definitely better than the ones of the first track.
Yeah, she’s my barefoot sweet kiss on the river
Taking in that big moon, counting them stars together
Let the love flow like that muddy water
Can’t you smell that honeysuckle vine
I can make her mine
If I can make it till summertime
3. If Only (feat. Ashley McBryde)
If Only is neither having hard guitar riffs nor hip-hop style lyrics – but overall, this third track of the album feels a more modern than the two starters. The plot of the songs gets quite boring after three songs already: Shenandoah is practically performing the first verse on their own, before the additional artist – here: Ashley McBryde – is joining.
4. Every Road (feat. Dierks Bentley)
The big Dierks has the honor to perform the titlet rack with the country sextet. So far, no song has made it to be outstanding – and that definitely includes Every Road. Not a bad song at all – but if you invite a country music all star team to your music ballgame, you just expect some home runs. So far, there are some walks and first base hits.
5. Then A Girl Walks In (feat. Blake Shelton)
Can Blake Shelton turn this superband feeling into a super-song feeling? Then A Girl Walks In is definitely one of the better songs so far. The song definitely has beautiful lyrics at all, dealing with finding the girl of your life, marrying her and seeing similarities to her in your daughter. Beauty!
Then a girl a walks in, you know the right one, you can tell
Shinin’ like a million dollar penny in a wishin’ well
Buyin’ drinks turns into buyin’ roses
You’re thinkin’ rings, changing names, that’s how the story goes
Just when you think you’ve got it all and then
A girl walks in
Yeah, a girl walks in
6. High Class Hillbillies (feat. Cody Johnson)
We’re just high class hillbillies
Bringin’ country to the city
You see us everywhere you go
You hear us on the radio
You can put us in a suit, polish up our boots
But nothin’s gonna change really
We’re just high class, high class hillbillies
I liked this song from the very beginning. It may not be the best write ever (at least it is quite fun…), but it just leads to a very different and new sound in the album – the High Class Hillbillies are a lot of Rock’n’Roll! Good one.
7. Every Time I Look at You (feat. Lady Antebellum)
The seventh song on the album, Every Time I Look at You, features Lady A / Lady Antebellum. I feel the songs are significantly stronger now, have more character – even though I do not feel too strong Lady A influence in here. Good song, though.
8. Life Would Be Perfect (feat. Brad Paisley)
With the easy and happy sound, Life Would Be Perfect could almost be the melody of a children’s song – the song is dreaming about things which would make life much better:
If chocolate didn’t make you fat
And people made a little more sense
If tires they never went flat
And hail never left a dent
If Monday’s were a little more fun
And guitars stayed in tune
If I had a little more time to spend with you
Thus, it is somehow a dreaming and childish song. But that makes the the recording with Brad Paisley also a very good and catchy listen. I like it.
9. I’ll Be Your Everything (feat. Carly Pearce)
I’ll Be Your Everything is a love song recorded with Carly Pearce. The song is always about half way done (total playtime is 3:51 minutes) when you hear Carly’s voice for the very first time. Again, that just feels like a wasted opportunity. Only the last 80 seconds have a duet character – the song is real beauty from that point on.
10. Boots on Broadway
I was looking forward to this final song of the album, just because I wanted to see this track in contrast to all the songs with big names of the business. I feel that Boots on Broadway is one of the best songs of the album – even though there was so much additional talent in this album. Feels a bit sad.
Shenandoah – Every Road – Spotify
Here is the Spotify widget to Every Road:
Shenandoah – Every Road – Track by Track
If you go for a lineup like this, you simply have to deliver a good album. Maybe, this is just why I am much more disappointed of the album than I actually should be. Every Road is not bad, but we are just not talking about the debut album of a teenage newcomer band. The stars partially do not add too much value to the song, unfortunately. Thus, I overall feel that I would rather spent my time with one of the young and new acts then listening to Every Road.
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