By “Tampa Earl” Burton, Rock At Night Tampa
Music Review: Hippies & Cowboys’ single “Hard Times”
Southern rock isn’t quite the force that it used to be. Of course, in the 70s bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Allman Brothers Band, Little Feat, and others would rule the rock charts and hammer the road with non-stop touring. The 80s would see this style slowly fade out of style, with .38 Special perhaps the last practitioner of the sound.
Over the past decade, however, there has been a resurgence of that style of rock music. Led by The Tedeschi Trucks Band, Blackberry Smoke, and others, the strains of Southern rock are once again being heard throughout the States of America. Adding their own stylings into this mix are Hippies & Cowboys, who have hit with a rocking Southern flavored tune called “Hard Times.”
Hippies & Cowboys come from Nashville, TN, so it is plainly evident that there is a country influence on their work. It is also apparent that they have a healthy respect for rock, especially the Southern variety. “Hard Times” echoes all these sounds and more, especially in the soul-tinged vocal stylings of Aaron Sparling and presents the band’s musical virtuosity and songwriting abilities.
The horns and vocals from singer Sparling stand out as a superb effort. Sparling’s soulful sound are unique – he’s not Ronnie Van Zant nor Gregg Allman, he’s his own performer. The horns meld well with the soaring guitar work from lead guitarist Andrew Lambie, while Scott Melko (drums), Kevin Corbo (bass), and Nolan Brown (piano) revel in laying down a solid back.
No word yet on whether these gentlemen are going to give us more (AKA a full album of material), but they’re off to a good start with “Hard Times.” If you’re in the Nashville area, you’ll find Hippies & Cowboys playing in many of the honky tonks on Broadway, and they are more than worth the effort to check out.