THE BOHANNONS (left to right: Josh Beaver, Nick Sterchi, Marty Bohannon, Matt Bohannon) Photo credit: Jason Dunn
The Bohannons inhabit a musical universe that, while certainly drawing influence from all over, is firmly rooted in their Tennessee home. With their full-length debut album Unaka Rising, they are clearly taking their homegrown, handcrafted rock to a new level, and we think they’ve set the bar pretty damn high with this one. The album’s title references the Unaka province of East Tennessee and western North Carolina— “One of the finest areas in all the world,” according to singer/guitarist Marty Bohannon. The region has certainly fueled the Bohannons’ fire, providing endless stories and situations from which these songs draw. With a quiver of new material ready to follow up 2011’s stellar EP, Days of Echo, the Bohannons spent the better part of the last year tearing up the road between Chattanooga and Athens, GA where they recorded Unaka Rising at Chase Park Transduction, first with David Barbe and later Drew Vandenberg.
The Bohannons’ Unaka Rising is out now (through This Is American Music) in CD and Digital formats.
“Southern rock music is undergoing an interesting revolution these days. It’s adding some punk attitude and a bit of grunge sound to the rock, blues, and country it has always had. The Bohannons, from Chattanooga, Tennessee, are a perfect example of what’s great about this new roots rock sound on their new release, Unaka Rising. This is not music that invites you to listen passively. This is music that attacks and forces you to engage from the very first notes. The lyrics delve into the rich mines of Southern mythology and are filled with the imagery of their native region. The title of the CD refers, in fact, to the Unaka region of Tennessee. But in The Bohannon’s music, that mythology and imagery is mixed with anger, paranoia, and political unease. The sound here is anything but predictable. Yes, there are blues licks and high, lonesome, twangy sounds like the best of bluegrass, but there is also violently raucous guitar, emotionally charged vocals, more than a touch of metal, and above all else, rock and roll.
If you like homegrown rock that defies the norm and demands a response, you owe it to yourself to give The Bohannons a listen. You just may find out that it’s exactly what you’ve been looking for.” – SEATTLE POST INTELLIGENCER
“The Bohannons new album, Unaka Risingis a real scorcher. It’s an odd thing to say about a band, but their approach to music makes so much sense that it’s difficult to understand why their particular cocktail of heavy Southern rock jangle hasn’t already been done to death by someone else. A little Two Gallants, a little Black Sabbath, they’re as heavy as they are twangy. They manage their heaviness without venturing into melodrama, which is difficult for many artists that venture into darker territory. Their music begs to serve as a soundtrack to a genre of film that doesn’t currently exist—some kind of violent, stylized-but-gritty (a la Tarantino) Southern road movie patterned after the classic Western model.” – OXFORD AMERICAN
“Are they Country? Are They Blues? Are they ’70s glam metal? Yes.” – NINE BULLETS
“The Swinging Sounds of the Dying South: The Bohannons’ Dystopian Unaka Rising. A melange of all our favorite rocks—hard, southern, punk, garage – Unaka Rising is ten stomping tracks that deconstruct and interrogate America through The Bohannons’ loud and cracked prism. Musically, they occupy a unique space somewhere between Skynard, The Pixies, and modern southern rockers like Jason Isbell and the Drive-By Truckers. Matt Bohannon’s vocals can evoke Frank Black piped through a PA at a demonstration. Lyrically, Unaka Rising concerns itself with the conflict and paranoia of our contemporary milieu, a hodgepodge of angry ideologues and frightened people tottering on the cusp of collective horror.” – THREAT + CONSTRAINT
“The Bohannons are a Chattanooga band that combines swamp boogie, hard blues, full-on glam rock, and punk — and it’s just as bracing and crazy as that sounds. If you’ve enjoyed some of the proud Southern rock varietals we’ve blogged about this year: The Alabama Shakes, The District Attorneys, Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires, Patterson Hood – this is something you will want to check out.” – WHEN YOU MOTOR AWAY
“Taking rock music and embedding it with hints of blues and country, Tennessee-based The Bohannons have created a mixture that has rarely been heard before.” – PLUG-IN MUSIC
“You can put whatever label you want on The Bohannons’ music, the only one that really matters is, Damn Good!” – CW’S PLACE
“Southern-fried, glam rock boogie merchants The Bohannons debut release Unaka Rising is as good a set of blues-inspired psych-groove as we’ve heard in a very long while.” – THE MAD MACKEREL: UK
“The bottom line is that The Bohannons’ are some good ‘ol kick a little dirt in your face rock and roll. Hot and heavy as hell.” – ALAN CROSS: A JOURNAL OF MUSICAL THINGS
THE BOHANNONS’ 2012 FALL TOUR DATES
Oct. 27 The Honest Pint – Chattanooga, TN
Nov. 2 The 5 Spot – Nashville, TN w/ Shane Tutmarc, Little Bandit
Nov. 3 Maxine’s – Hot Springs National Park, AR w/ LUCERO
Nov. 6 Smith’s Olde Bar – Atlanta, GA
Nov. 7 New Earth Music Hall – Athens, GA w/ Lord Baltimore
Nov. 8 Radio Room – Greenville, SC
Nov. 9 The Wormhole – Savannah, GA
Nov. 10 Hummingbird Stage & Taproom – Macon, GA
[more dates to be announced soon]