Review: The Shootouts at the O.K. Corral

The Shootouts/Stampede/Soundly Music
Four Out of Five Stars

Videos by American Songwriter

The Shootouts’ music falls on the crossroads of country, Americana, and western swing, a sound that draws on timeless tradition while maintaining contemporary credence and popular appeal. This, their third album in nearly as many years, has the feeling of a well-seasoned standby, thanks to a series of songs that boast instant appeal and an approach that’s both fresh and familiar all at the same time. 

Produced by Ray Benson and informed by the influence of Benson’s band, Asleep at the Wheel, Stampede provides an onslaught of upbeat entreaties, from the opening track “Better Things To Do” and the frenzied song that follows, “Anywhere But Here,” through to the decidedly irresistible rocker “Run For Cover” and the equally infectious “I’ll Never Need Anyone More.” 

The rollicking “One Step Forward,” “Tomorrow’s Knockin’” and the upbeat instrumental approach forwarded by the title track exude the obvious influence of Benson and his band, but shared sounds are spread throughout, with the Mavericks’ Raul Malo, Marty Stuart, Buddy Miller, and Jim Lauderdale all making guest appearances at various intervals. 

Still, one has to credit the band itself for procuring melodies with such urgency and engagement. This is one explosive effort, and easily an album that this Akron Ohio-based quartet can hang their collective hats on. It boasts a rootsy tapestry that puts a genuine spin on classic country, as evidenced by the bluesy twang of “Feeling’ Kind of Lonely Tonight” and the ebullient honkytonk of “Must Be A Broken Heart.” Theirs is a knowing execution, one that’s equally informed by the soulful serendipity of the tender ballad “Angel’s Work” as well as the robust refrains that dominate the album overall.

The Shootouts have accumulated the credibility that ought to ensure their upward trajectory continues unabated, bringing eager anticipation for whatever happens to follow from this point forward. Here’s proof positive they’re quick on the draw.

Photo courtesy All Eyes Media

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