Southern Rock transcends southern realm, the genre born in the south has migrated all across the country, indeed the world and Sam Morrison Band proves it right from the get go with Rattlesnake Stew, a scorching rocker with soaring vocals and guitars.
The title track Dig it or Don’t is more akin to a bluesy bar band sound with the irrelevant chorus but it catches the listener up in the driving sound. For most of the CD the band has a harder rock edge and mixes the bluesy soul of southern rock into the foundation of their sound.Celebrate has a country rock feel but never really heads that way, instead it takes a more rocking approach that reminds me of early Elvin Bishop Group or Black Oak Arkansas.
The rough vocals of Sam celebrate the music with abandon. Sam has a bit in common with Jim Dandy of BOA and his vocal style, if not as strident, certainly has a rough edge to it. The track Whiskey is outlaw country mixed with southern rock riding the roots of the music into a truly soulful song that haunts the mind of a man who knows better but just can’t refuse.
The guitar work is classic southern rock, dueling guitars with soaring melodies. Song after song Sam Morrison touches his roots, songs like Almost Home, the most commercial track and I can see a huge following for this anthem in the Lynyrd Skynyrd style as well as the fine rendition of Amazing Grace, which shows his gospel roots.
Dig it or Don’t is a solid success, Sam Morrison catches the essence of several styles of music but at the same time retains his individualism with the help of his band mates and as a unit they play hard hitting music that you should dig, but your loss if you don’t.
Review by Vernon Tart