Photo by Chris Edwards
“[The Edwards’ music]…sounds like the product of a childhood spent listening to a cool aunt or uncle’s well-worn copies of Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere and The Gilded Palace Of Sin, with Exile On Main Street…”
After more than a decade fronting Charlotte, NC’s critically acclaimed alt. country pioneers, Lou Ford, brothers Alan & Chad Edwards return with a new take on their signature “rural pop” sound. Ever-present are the sibling harmonies, guitar chops, and hook-heavy songwriting that No Depression said “…sounds like the product of a childhood spent listening to a cool aunt or uncle’s well-worn copies of Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere and The Gilded Palace Of Sin, with Exile On Main Street…” and led Creative Loafing to declare “…some of the catchiest, most heart-rending country rock around.” The Loudermilks carry on that tradition, but suggest a maturity and refinement in both songwriting and performance that can only come from years spent honing one’s craft.
With the Loudermilks, too, comes a crack rhythm section composed of former Lou Ford drummer Shawn Lynch on bass, fellow Lou Ford veteran Jason Atkins on piano & organ, and former Jolene time-keeper Mike Kenerley on drums and percussion. Individually, these five musicians represent Charlotte, NC’s finest, with an impressive musical pedigree. Together these gentlemen represent the Edwards’ most cohesive unit to date, and a powerhouse combo capable of both subtlety and bombast with equal precision and ethos.
Named for iconic gospel & country duo Ira & Charlie Loudermilk, better known as the Louvin Brothers, the Loudermilks find a comfortable place in the unlikely juxtaposition of the Louvin’s southern gothic and sibling harmonies and the emotive & powerful Memphis-Soul-meets-‘60’s-Pop of underground rock legends Big Star. It’s a musical combination which feels intrinsic and honest, as if they could do nothing else. “Brothers Alan and Chad Edwards have always shared vocal and songwriting duties, and that familial, familiar element no doubt shades their music in an organic way, a sort of composting of shared experience and bloodline that is rather impossible to fake,” wrote Creative Loafing, “…songs feel lived in, rather than put on, the sadness and anger genuinely cathartic.” “[The brothers’] strength has always been avoiding country rock’s clichés while remaining true to its tenets and slipping in a punk-inspired defiance.”
The Loudermilks carry on a musical legacy that started nearly twenty years ago, when, as Shuffle Magazine described it, “two brothers… and their tragic songs of life… form[ed] a “rural rock” band.” Yet the Edwards brothers’ music sounds as if it has always been. Once described as “recorded more in sepia, than in stereo,” the brothers, and their “top-shelf sibling harmonies, and rural rock songs so poignant your grandkids will be downloading them for deep catalog cachet [Creative Loafing],” deliver, once again, with the Loudermilks.