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Whiskey Myers

Whiskey Myers kept the sound of the South alive in the 2010s, turbo-charging the sounds of Lynyrd Skynyrd and Hank Williams, Jr. that earned them a strong cult following within the margins of Texas' Red Dirt country scene. Their music is tough and moody, full of ruminations on life in the South, with powerful rockers sitting side by side with slower, introspective tracks, and pedal steel guitar ringing out next to crunchy six-string riffs. The band laid out the template of their sound of 2011's Firewater, and they enjoyed a commercial breakthrough with 2019's Whiskey Myers. 2022's Tornillo found them expanding their sound with horns on several tracks. Hailing from the East Texas town of Palestine, Whiskey Myers first formed when friends Cody Cannon (lead vocalist/guitarist) and John Jeffers (guitarist) began jamming with fellow guitarist Cody Tate. They soon started gigging under the name Lucky Southern. Planning to attend college, the three relocated to Tyler, Texas, but once there, the trio added bassist Gary Brown and drummer Jeff Hogg and renamed themselves Whiskey Myers. Around 2007, Whiskey Myers began working the Red Dirt circuit in East Texas, building up a solid following via their own concerts and opening gigs for the likes of the Eli Young Band. Signing to Smith Entertainment, the combo released their debut, Road of Life, in 2008. They launched their own imprint, Wiggy Thump, for 2011's Firewater. Firewater gave the group their first big break, reaching number four on Billboard's Heatseekers chart and 26 on their Country Albums chart. The album helped establish the band as a force in Texas, reaching number one on the Texas music charts and leading them to win Emerging Artist of the Year at the 2012 LoneStarMusic awards. Produced by Dave Cobb, Early Morning Shakes arrived in early 2014, and it pushed the band toward a wider audience, peaking at ten on Billboard's Country Albums chart. Two years later, they reunited with Cobb for 2016's Mud, which also featured the band's new member, percussionist Tony Kent, along with contributions from fiddler/keyboardist Jon Knudson. Mud debuted at number four on the Country Albums chart. Following the release of Mud, bassist Gary Brown left the band; he was replaced by Jamey Gleaves. They also expanded to a six-piece with the addition of Tony Kent on keyboards and percussion. Whiskey Myers appeared in four episodes of Yellowstone, a Paramount Network series featuring Kevin Costner. This raised the group's profile, helping Mud re-enter the charts. The band produced their eponymous 2019 studio album themselves, and it was a surprise hit upon its October release, debuting at six on the Billboard Top 200 and topping both the country and indie charts. As the album exposed them to new fans, they were soon playing more shows and to larger audiences, with 100,000 people witnessing their set at the Download Festival in London. In 2022, Whiskey Myers put out a digital EP, a four-song release called The Wolf. It was a preview of the group's sixth album, the 12-track Tornillo, which was once again produced by Whiskey Myers at Texas's Sonic Ranch studios.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine & Mark Deming /TiVo


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