Buried Treasure: Emerson Drive’s Missed Hits
Emerson Drive hasn’t released an album since 2006 with “Countrified” but the 5-piece band is still touring and serenading us with current singles “A Good Man,” “Moments,” and “You Still Own Me.” Surprisingly, the song that most represents their Southern charm-meets- ring around the collar boyishness is absent from the hit list.
“Countrified Soul” is without a doubt the most genre-specific song for this country band. Even with its brief rap breakdown leading into David Pichette’s energetic fiddle solo it maintains authenticity (hey, if Kid Rock and Rascal Flatts can get away with it so can E-Drive). Brad Mates’ soulful vocals accompanied by quick guitar riffs are straight out of a good old fashioned Friday night barn dance. Just enough rowdiness to make things fun without setting fire to the hay.
Hopefully we’ll see more of this liveliness on a future album, not that I can’t appreciate their love songs and ballads.
Charlie Daniels walks onto this record at the end on “Devil Went Down to Georgia”, and you have to wonder why more folks don’t include this classic outside of the karaoke bars. The original song practically begs for improvisation, and Emerson Drive provides their own variation to a satisfying degree.