There are not a lot of bands that come out of Richmond, Virginia but one does seem to take the lead in what Americana music sounds like. Brickwall Jackson is a blend of all the country sounds and genres that you can think of. It is very gutsy and gritty and gives you the feeling of empowerment in their style. Americana music is hard to incorporate as it is a messy blend. It is neither just bluegrass nor rock or honky tonk.
The band released their third studio album, “Stickin’ To It” as a testament to their true origins. Similarly to artists such as The Band Perry and Tom Petty in style, they are far from the typical pop country format commonly heard today. Their bold lyrics are yet a slight insight into the humanity of individuals. With tracks such as “Little Baby” which talks about guitarist John Hudak’s daughter’s battle with years of surgeries, to “First Time Again”, which speaks of the miscarriages his wife suffered.
They live by the motto of “There is no right or wrong way”, meaning they embrace every aspect of their lives and use it for inspiration in their songs. On an earlier album, “Just Life” gives listeners the inside look of how sassy and poignant they can be. Suzie Johnson makes the track memorable as she sounds like a mix of Sara Evans and Colbie Caillat. The new album solidifies their reputation and is richly enjoyed by fans. But it not only sounds true to their core but the album tackles the ups and downs of everyday life. With tracks like “Begin” and “Hole In My Heart”, they touch on troubled relationships and perpetual love.
One song, “Whiskey Dick” is a boisterous track that focuses on male compensation. It is a brassy tune with underlying masculinity that run rampant throughout the lyrics. It is an interesting take on a perceived male identity.
The band is very distinctive in their approach to certain subjects, such as the track, “Who’s Gonna Love You” as it centers on putting down those that hurt us and manipulate our hearts. The track showcases the band’s ability to portray clear sentimentality and also reasurance in the raucous cords and guitar. It gives the listener the feeling that the artist understands how they feel and gives them a powerful boost of confidence. It is not easy navigating such a topic but the group seems to find the sweet spot in the song.
The band is definitely a style all their own. They command the album and every word they sing. They are your typical guns and trucks kind of sound but they do present music that represents all people.
Written by Gabrielle Thompson
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