Favorite

Love and Theft @Saddlebags 

SINCE breaking out on country charts in 2009, Nashville’s Love and Theft has evolved into a dynamic two-piece, fusing pop-country hooks, bar-rock riffs, and classic, all-American rock 'n’ roll tone.

After scoring a Number One hit with “Angel Eyes,” a catchy ode to the quintessential preacher’s daughter with a taste for bourbon, rule-breaking, all-night dancing, and churchgoing, it seemed Love and Theft was set to be country’s new darlings. Oddly enough, follow-up singles “Runnin’ Out of Air” and “If You Ever Get Lonely” barely broke the Top 40; while working on an album with RCA Nashville, the band released their foray into party-boy country in the form of a swingy, mid-tempo reflection on the “Night That You’ll Never Forget.” Despite some strong initial response, the single wafted down the country charts; Love and Theft were dropped from their label.

click to enlarge love1-1-f1ae584edee48dc7.jpg

It’s a sign of the times and strange state of the industry when a glossy, CMT-favorite act can become an indie band in one quick email from a Nashville suit, but Love and Theft are making the swift change work in their favor: with no rights to the album they recorded with RCA Nashville, members Stephen Barker Liles and Eric Gunderson teamed up with songwriting friends Eric Paslay, Trent Tomlinson, Tyler Reeve, and “Night That You’ll Never Forget” co-writer Dallas Davidson to write an entirely new third studio album, Whiskey on my Breath, and release it independently.

The duo are pleased to be writing their own material once again and are enjoying the freedoms that creative control allows—plus, doing their own thing allows them to perform in more intimate spaces like Saddlebags for their fans.

While the title Whiskey on my Breath may seem like another soundtrack to bro-country irresponsibility and cliché singalongs, it’s quite the opposite. It’s a record full of drinking songs, for sure, but while the songs’ subjects may dance all night with pretty girls, they’re also opening up about their struggles with addiction and fear of seeking help.

In older Love and Theft songs, an undercurrent of melancholy sat just under the rager exterior—that’s explored deeper here, and it’s a brave and needed cut at popular country radio. Look no further than the double-take of a title “Everybody Drives Drunk,” a grim slow-burner of a saloon tune which bitterly observes, “Everybody’s spent money they don’t got/to try and look like someone they’re really not/and everybody’s cheated on someone they love/and everybody drives drunk.” That’ll kill your jukebox buzz if anything will. It’ll also give a healthy reality check to destructive escapism, and may be just the catalyst the bland state of pop-country needs; best see the Saddlebags show before Love and Theft grow out of our smaller spaces once again.

Saturday, 8 p.m., $10

Favorite

Related Locations

About The Author

Anna Chandler

Anna Chandler

Bio:
Connect Savannah Arts & Entertainment Editor Anna Chandler started writing about music after growing hoarse from talking about it nonstop. Born in Tennessee and raised in South Carolina, she has been a proud Savannahian for 8 years. She sings & plays guitar & accordion in COEDS and Lovely Locks.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Connect Today 04.26.2017

Latest in Music

  • Scriptkiddie @Foxy Loxy Print Gallery & Café
  • Scriptkiddie @Foxy Loxy Print Gallery & Café

    Nashville three-piece Scriptkiddie is anchored by Emily Kohavi’s versatile voice.
    • Apr 26, 2017
  • The Head @Congress Street Social Club
  • The Head @Congress Street Social Club

    After being crowned the #1 unsigned artist of 2015 by Purevolume and opening for Primal Scream at Terminal West that same year, the band has put in the time and work to make their first LP a huge success.
    • Apr 26, 2017
  • Gino Fanelli @The Wormhole
  • Gino Fanelli @The Wormhole

    The guitar virtuoso relocated to Lookout Mountain, Georgia in 2015, ready to start fresh, and has made a name for himself in the region.
    • Apr 26, 2017
  • More »

The Most: Read | Shared | Comments

Right Now On: Twitter | Facebook

Copyright © 2017, Connect Savannah. All Rights Reserved.
Website powered by Foundation