Cry of Love - Brother
Published on Monday, 07 December 2009 19:00
Written by sonofabelch
|Artist||Cry of Love|
|Release Date||August 1993|
|By It Now On|
The Great Southern Revival That Almost Was Pt I
This is the first part in a series that will take a look back to a time when bands hailing from the Southern US created a swell of soul and boogie in the late 1980's and into the mid 1990's. Related in sound to various degrees to Southern Rock bands of a generation before them, this new movement didn't so much copy the sound of classic southern rock, but more emulated the spirit and celebration of music created in a region ripe with melodic harmony and a history of soulful sounds. Although largely ignored by most of the normal outlets in many cases, there were moments of light in the darkness giving some of these bands a brief spot in the sun. If you blinked at the time, you probably missed some of these bands. Here's a chance to go back and make amends.
Cry of Love was a band that personified the revival in the South. Headed by guitarist and North Carolina native Audley Freed (who later became a big part of the Black Crowes for a number of years), Cry of Love captured the essentials of the movement and carried the banner through hard pounding rock and roll with the unmistakable signature of raw Southern boogie.
was their debut album and it clearly displayed their talents and served to become the platform they needed to escape the pack of area bands trying to vie for the limited exposure that could be extracted from the Raleigh area. Immediately, the single Peace Pipe started getting more and more airplay due to its stripped-down sound and basic greatness. It started a mini swell that pushed the song to national attention and with it, the band rode the train to video and even more exposure.
As in most cases dealing with music that actually is worth a shit, most people limit themselves to what is on the radio and fail to follow through by listening to everything else that is on an album. If you went inside the door opened by the song Peace Pipe, you entered into a virtual living museum of classic rock songs reminiscent of the sounds of Bad Company and others.
Songs like Highway Jones, Pretty As You Please, and Hand Me Down fully capture the magic of Freed's playing along with the soul of singer Kelly Holland. My personal favorite track, Carnival, cements the Southern sound created on the album and makes it possible to imagine yourself hanging around a barn filled with friends, passing around the Jim Beam into the wee hours.
Notable for attempting to bring back a more laid back and creative style of rock and roll which seemed to fade away in the early 90's, albums like Brother
were never intended to take over the world. Instead, it was designed to be an outlet for a band to place it's thumbprint on the scene and infuse some reality back into the music scene which, for years, had been dominated for too long by bands who needed to be more and more excessive in their attempts to carve out a niche for themselves. Cry of Love went back and used the format which had been created decades before them and rode the wave not on excess and ridiculous behavior, but with soul and grace and a deep respect for the roots of Southern Sound.
What great band with tons of potential survives for long in this business though? After seeing Peace Pipe and Bad Thing rise through the charts to respectable positions, the band went on tour to support Brother
and found itself playing at the Monsters of Rock festival in 1994. Shortly after the show, singer Kelly Holland left the band, virtually knocking them out of contention for the next few years. The band recruited Robert Mason (Lynch Mob) and recorded yet another respectable album, Diamonds & Debris
in 1997. Although the new album sounded just as good, the momentum of modern rock and roll had been fully taken over by the slimy grunge shit from the Seattle area by that time, thereby sealing the fate of the band along with thousands of others.
Today, you can still find Brother online, as well as in pawn shops across the country. If you see it, grab it- trust me on this one.