Big Indie (label)
20 April 2018 (released)
19 April 2018
It is only a couple of years ago that recent Justin Timberlake collaborator was seen as the outsider underdog of whiskey soaked Country. Although he had enjoyed modest success as part of The SteelDrivers, his 2015 debut album Traveller became the album you had to claim to have discovered before all your friends. Fast forward three years and he is now on the brink of global superstar status and has numerous awards to his name. This leaves room for another grassroots act to slide slowly into public consciousness as the new favourite unlikely icon. With his eponymous debut album finally ready for release, our bets are on Arkansas Dave sneaking in and stealing his crown.
Why? For Arkansas Dave boasts the same authenticity as Chris Stapleton. And he does so without any pomp or ceremony. He delivers kick-ass tunes that say something just because he knows how. It is this raw realness that sets his apart from many of his contemporaries. He isn't simply pursuing a path as it is on trend, he is doing it because he has something to say and this is his expression.
Life hasn't always been easy, or particularly fair to the Arkansas native. Having worked his way through an array of bands, while he struggled to find a balance between the fundamental Christianity of his up-bringing and the drug-fuelled partying he had discovered, he found his only solace was in the songs that he has crafted for this truly unforgettable collection of songs.
Making the unusual decision to tease the release with a cover of Tom Waits' Chocolate Jesus, as opposed to unveiling one of the original compositions that form the record, it is clear that he is not an artist that does things the easiest or most traditional of ways. However, his reworking of a true classic showed he was an unafraid musician who was willing to put his own spin on one of the most untouchable and iconic songs out there.
Unsurprisingly his own compositions prove equally breath-taking. With snippets of pop, punk, rock, blues and country to fuel the album's 13 tracks, the relentless energy and explosive presence is one that will grip you from the moment you press play to the moment you click to repeat the experience. From channeling everyone's inner grunge teen on album opener Bad At Being Good, through to showing he can make you hot under the collar on Something For Me, Arkansas Dave has many guises but each one equally enjoyable.
We highly recommend you go out and purchase the album and a ticket to his upcoming tour, as you definitely want to be able to turn around to all your mates in 6 months and tell them you were the one who discovered him first.