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CD Review: Dugger Band – East Tennessee Son

Dugger Band Album pays loving tribute to
East Tennessee roots

EAST TENNESSEE SON(Dugger Band Music)

Dugger Band

If there’s a way to put a new spin on the
sound of ‘traditional’ country, Dugger Band seem to have done it with their new
album, EAST TENNESSEE SON.  The six-song
EP, set to drop February 16, 2018, revolves around memories of hometown life,
growing up and coming of age in East Tennessee.  

‘Traditional’ does not mean old-fashioned:
this album gives us contemporary lyrics, powerful guitar riffs and even some
synths here and there, blending with the sounds of acoustic guitar and fiddles.
The overall feeling is a celebration of days past and present in the shelter of
the Great Smoky Mountains.

Unusually for an indie act, brothers Jordan
and Seth Dugger co-wrote all six cuts on the new EP, a sophomore release
following 2014’s FLY.  The brothers also
co-produced the new project alongside Paul David.

The EP kicks off with the danceable
‘Warning Label,’ complete with fist-pumping chorus, telling that a “girl like
you oughta come with a warning label.” 
Then we are into the title song – already at Country radio – describing
the life of an ‘East Tennessee Son.’ The song is chock-full of references to
idealized country living… the country store, the church, Old Rocky Top, drive-in
movies with sweet tea to follow, kisses from the homecoming queen, Smoky
Mountain rain. It is reminiscent of the kind of song John Denver wrote about a
different stretch of mountains, back in 70s.

‘For the Girl’ is a romantic ballad from
the point of view of a ‘desperado’ who has finally met the girl who’ll “give
this ol’ boy a chance.”  As a result, the
guy pledges to be a better man. A sweet lyric with a gentle acoustic guitar
bridge, keyboards – and an almost Beatle-like intro/outro.

#DoItForTheStory is a wry, bang-up-to-date
look at the way obsession with social media can dominate our lives. “The
party’s never ending when your latest post is trending / You don’t sit around
remembering the nights you stayed at home.” The tempo is suitably frantic and
hard-driving, somewhat reminiscent of the Eagles’ social commentary songs.  And remember to “upload your 15 seconds of
glory.”

The tempo stays up with ‘Postcard,’ about
the ‘picture-perfect’ girl on the boardwalk, is the album’s catchiest and most
pop-oriented cut, with driving percussion, rockin’ guitar and fun-time lyrics.

Speaking of fun, try not to smile when you
listen to the final track, ‘One Track Mind,’ a toe-tapping earworm that jogs
along to a sing-along chorus that’s hard to forget.

The Duggers have that rare sibling
connection (think of the Everly Brothers) that creates the kind of harmonies
that just seem made for the songs on this album.

Seth and Jordan, the Duggar Band, stay true
to their Greenville, Tennessee, roots with this outing and will no doubt be
back with more. For pre-orders and more information, visit duggerband.com.

# # #

Album review by Preshias Harris for Country Music News International

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