Preacher Stone / The Succulent Classic Southern Style Of V

Hewn from the same rock as Southern legends Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Outlaws, and Molly Hatchet, Preacher Stone have been treading the board since 2008 with one aim: To keep the flag of Southern Rock flying high. It’s been a while, eight years in fact, since their last album, Remedy, but finally, the band are back with their fifth album, V.

Preacher Stone – V (NoNo Bad Dog Productions)

Release Date: 29 March 2024

Words: Paul Hutchings

Fans of the incredible Sons Of Anarchy may remember Preacher Stone’s music being featured in seasons three and five, and even though that series is long gone, the evocative sounds that Preacher Stone create provide warm memories of one of the best series ever created.

Ten tracks, all of a high calibre, are bookended by the vibrant opener, Hard Life PhD and closer, Home. Sandwiched between these are eight succulent songs that carry that Classic Southern style, a rich blend of soulful Bluesy swagger, searing lead work, and soulful vocals.

Preacher Stone - V album cover
Preacher Stone – V – Out 29 March 2024

It’s a combination that works on every level, and if you are a fan of the legendary bands mentioned above, then this is an album that demands attention.

Hard Life, PhD is the ideal opener and eases the listener straight into the album. My, My, My has the first real blasts of Johnny Webb’s lush keyboards, which are prominent across V. They don’t drown the guitar-edged boogie that the band plays so well, but they certainly add to the texture and feel.

Ben Robinson and Marty Hill’s lead work is a standout feature throughout, particularly smouldering on Ain’t As Easy As It Looks.

The tempo drops on the emotion-filled Till We Meet Again, a calmer, gentle track that sees singer Ronnie Riddle’s soulful vocals take centre stage. He’s got the ideal richness to match Preacher Stone’s rocky approach, whilst the slower vibe is ideal for some delicious harmonies.

The slower groove continues Horse To Water, with Webb’s fine ivory work complimented by some more stunning lead work. The centrepiece of the album, it’s a wonderful six-minutes to lose yourself in.

Whilst Preacher Stone don’t bring anything new to a genre with over half a century of history, they do what they do fantastically well. The glorious melodies ooze across the album. The tempo switches in several places with an ease that is enjoyable, whilst the general level of musicianship is absorbing.

It may be the foot stomping rockers that grab the attention, but Preacher Stone are adept at the brooding ballad, as demonstrated on Rise Up, which sees more blisteringly sharp fretwork.

Rain Or Shine has echoes of The Black Star Riders, a little more Americana in sound, whilst Home is a fine album closer, a deep, emotional song with a melancholic edge.

Coherent, organic, fluid, and in complete harmony, V is a welcome album. It carries a sound that works on every level, with each instrument allowed room to breathe in the mix. There’s no filler, just track after track of high-quality music.

Sleeve Notes

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