Reckless

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Reckless marks the end of an era for The SteelDrivers: It’s the swan song for craggy-voiced lead singer Chris Stapleton, who left the band this year to form blues-rockers The Jompson Brothers. The SteelDrivers’ brand of Delta “blues-grass” remains intact here, with producer Luke Wooten returning to the helm and Chris co-writing 11 tracks with bandmate Mike Henderson. “Can You Run” veers traditional, with sweet harmonies by Tammy Rogers, while mournful stringwork on “You Put the Hurt on Me,” paired with Chris’ weathered voice, results in a silk-and-sandpaper effect. “Angel Tonight” boasts clean, rousing instrumental work from Mike Henderson, while the band’s swampy playing and singing get saucy on “Good Corn Liquor.” On future albums, new frontman Gary Nichols’ rock-and-country-soaked voice will lend a new sound to The SteelDrivers that will no doubt please some fans and leave others missing Chris’ cigar-and-whiskey shouting.

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