A few thoughts from Dante Bonutto

19th July, 2018

To say that I’ve devoted my life, man and boy, to the many and varied delights of hard rock and heavy metal may sound over-dramatic, but in essence it’s true. So it might seem strange that I’m now focussing much of my time and energy on the world of country music; actually, make that country music and blues, Americana, too – roots music, if you will.

To me, however, it feels like a natural thing…

After all, I’ve always been a staunch devotee of Southern Rock, or as my erstwhile Kerrang! colleague Xavier Russell used to call it, ‘Suvern Rock’. If you ventured out with Xavier (generally dubbed the ‘Bourbon Baron’) for a night on the tiles, chances are you’d end up back at his Notting Hill abode for a bout of Jack Daniels / Wild Turkey consumption plus some advanced squash racket action, ‘playing along’ to classics from Molly Hatchet, Blackfoot, .38 Special and the mighty Skynyrd.

To us, as music journalists, it was all rock ‘n’ roll, and indeed – in the year of Our Lord 2018 – you might argue that it’s more rock ‘n’ roll than, well, rock ‘n’ roll…

Wanna hear extended geetar solos? Not an awful lot of that in the hard rock domain right now. But hey, those ‘country boys’ can’t wait to rip it up, and sometimes there’s two of them, sometimes three, a veritable guitar army trading licks ‘n’ solos and generally showing why a low-slung six-string is and always will be a cool and iconic thing.

Add to this a real regard for tradition and legacy, a certain set of values, plus the desire to entertain, to put on a show, and you have a world that – to those of us raised on rock – feels both comforting and familiar.

So, is ‘country’ the new rock ‘n’ roll? Let’s debate this down the pub some time, but rest assured that Snakefarm Records is here to make a difference – to turn the spotlight onto what singer / songwriter / guitarist / legend Ray Wylie Hubbard might define as “bad ass rockin’”.

Sounds mighty good to me.