Ingram Hill: Look Your Best

RIYL: Better Than Ezra, Collective Soul, Hootie and the Blowfish

True to form, Memphis rock band Ingram Hill has returned with their third release, Look Your Best.  The group’s debut, June Picture Show, and the follow-up, Cold in California, were released on Hollywood Records in 2004 and 2007, respectively, so this 2010 release (on Rock Ridge Music) is in line with the band’s every-three-years format. And, well, if you’re a fan of Ingram Hill, Look Your Best is pretty much a continuation of their previous work – especially to the debut, since they enlisted Rick Beato to produce once more.  If you’re looking for the next cool thing, you won’t find it here. Instead, Ingram Hill write real songs with real hooks that just have this way of making you feel good – as if you’re in a nostalgia warp of sorts to the bands mentioned above; but also the proximity of the band to Nashville has helped front man Justin Moore and company to continually hone his songwriting craft. 

The key to Ingram Hill, in addition to being a great live band, is the fact that they continue to churn out songs with catchy melodies and huge chorus hooks – ear candy, if you will – and Look Your Best is more of that same formula.  The opener “Broken Lover” is a bit too formulaic, but as you delve deeper into this set, you’ll unearth some gems like the power ballads “Hey Girl,” and “Wish You’d Say,” and the mid-tempo “Come Around.”  Really, any of these could be hits on country radio if things don’t pan out with Ingram Hill.  But sure as it’s hot and sweaty in Memphis, fans of the band aren’t hoping for that anytime soon.  (Rock Ridge 2010)

Ingram Hill MySpace page


Benjy Davis Project: Lost Souls Like Us

RIYL: Pat McGee Band, Collective Soul, Sister Hazel

Benjy Davis Project is the quintessential college band: they have a jangly jam band sound, but don’t jam a lot. Rather, front man Davis writes upbeat, melodic songs that are perfect for tapping your foot, singing along, and of course, drinking beer and partying to. BDP’s new album, their fourth, Lost Souls Like Us, is hip enough to appeal to the college frat crowd, yet has two features that make it attractive to the AAA market: Davis’ appealing tenor (which sounds a lot like Mat Kearney), and also his some lyrical depth. Witness this snippet from the opening track, “Mississippi”: “I think you’re really pretty / And that’s all I wanna say / Did you miss me/Did you miss me Mississippi / Would you kiss me if I stayed?” Of course, you can’t not appeal to the college crowd with catchy anthems like “Get High.” But Davis and company aren’t content to give you a few good songs. Sure, Lost Souls Like Us has a lot of sameness about it, but it’s a good sameness. In addition to the tracks already mentioned, other standouts are the G. Love-ish “Send Your Love Down” and “Light of Other Days,” which uses some super-cool, crunchy ‘80’s guitar tones and has some of the best harmonies on the record. If you like to have a good time, and like Southern-tinged party rock, you owe it to yourself to get familiar with Benjy Davis Project. (Rock Ridge Music 2010)

Benjy Davis Project MySpace Page


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