With a sound that is undeniably rooted in the deep southern rock tradition, Nashville’s Old Union proudly waves their soul flag high on their new album, Motels & Highways. Recalling the best of bands that preceded them (Allman Brothers, Marshall Tucker, Delaney and Bonnie), Old Union trot out the twin guitars of Steve Swertfeger and John Zvolensky, and keep alive the long tradition of dueling leads. An appearance by Charlie Daniels on “One for the Family” only serves to deepen the connection between Old Union and its forefathers.
Old Union has rightly become known for their intense live sets and adventurous, risk-taking jams, but they are not a one-dimensional band only capable of bringing the heat on stage. “We want to stress that we are primarily a lyric orientated band, whose strength is our live chemistry and energy to deliver the tune”, says Zvolensky. Their latest album is proof of this.
Motels & Highways has the gritty feel of a band on the road, with each song describing the life and experiences of a touring band. It is an open look into the heart of Old Union. Guitarist Zvolensky explains, “We want to stress that everything we do is from the soul, with us always striving to offer an honest tune.” Keyboardist Chuck Foster’s distinct voice, a gut-wrenching howl reminiscent of early Gregg Allman, provides pure emotion giving life to each song.
Motels & Highways is the sound of the open road, of driving with the windows down through yet another nameless town with the wind in your face. When Foster sings, “Well the road keeps coming and there ain’t no belt to fasten/ Spend our lifetime runnin’, makin’ this here music happen/ I wanna die in the saddle with my boots on/ I wanna hear the drums rattle, wanna hear that highway moan” from the title track, you can close your eyes and feel that wind.
Motels & Highways is out now.