Album Review: The Cadillac Three’s ‘Bury Me In My Boots’

The Cadillac Three continue to carve out their own path in the country genre and their latest release Bury Me In My Boots showcases the band’s Southern rock influences and distinct sound that sets them apart from today’s country radio. The country trio — made up of Jaren Johnston, Kelby Ray Caldwell and Neil Mason — wrote each of the 14 tracks on the album as well as produced the record with Dann Huff and Justin Niebank.

Bury Me In My Boots is the follow-up to the band’s self-titled 2012 debut and has them standing firm in their Southern roots, something heard time and time again throughout the album. The Cadillac Three broke through with “The South,” a Top 30 country single in 2013 which features Florida Georgia Line, Dierks Bentley and Mike Eli of Eli Young Band, and is included on the release. An ode to where the band was raised, “The South” also garnered the trio an ACM nomination in 2015 for Vocal Event of the Year.

“Where the beer seems colder and the women seem hotter / Where the world don’t seem so damn modern / Hell, this is where I’s born and this is where I’ll die,” Johnston sings on the gritty track.

“We’re still writing songs about where we’re from because it’s our favorite place in the damn world,” Mason says, “but at the same time, we have all these other experiences to draw on. We’ve been all around the world. This record is everything that has happened since.”

Several times the album pays tribute to where the band grew up and still live — Nashville, Tenn. Where “The South” asserts that the Cadillac Three won’t be leaving their native anytime soon, “This Accent” shows their pride in having what some might hear as a twang. The arena-sounding track, which features Johnston on guitar and lead vocals, Caldwell on lap steel and Mason on drums, exemplifies why the Cadillac Three are so highly regarded in the U.K. as they have continually sold-out show after show. On “This Accent” the band’s musicianship and authenticity is highlighted on every note played and each word belted.

Cover Art Courtesy of Big Machine Records

Cover Art Courtesy of Big Machine Records

“Yeah, you can take a lot of things from a man / Leave him beat, broken hearted, and bent / But you ain’t never gonna this accent,” they sing.

Meanwhile, fast-paced barn burner “Slide” is the Cadillac Three at their finest. A track that pays homage to Ram Jam’s “Black Betty,” the song features hand-clapped rhythms and Johnston’s rapid-fire singing style throughout. While the more upbeat songs on Bury Me In My Boots showcase the Cadillac Three’s talent as musicians, ballads like “White Lightning” and “Graffiti” hint at the band’s sentimental side.

Johnston wrote “White Lightning” alone and it tells the story of how quickly his wife stole his heart. “Faster than Elvis could shake, rattle, roll / Faster than the skirt flyin’ up on Monroe,” Johnston sings. The sweet sentiment then closes with Johnston conceding, “That’s what love’s supposed to feel like.”

Just like their live show, the Cadillac Three’s album has peaks and valleys that combine party anthems like the cleverly titled “Ship Faced” and sultry “Party Like You” with the slower, sometimes somber songs including the title track and album closer, “Runnin’ Red Lights,” which details the difficulties life on the road can bring being away from loved ones.

“You’re out there doing meet-and-greets, shaking hands and kissing babies but at the same time you’re thinking about where you wanna be,” Johnston says. “And that’s trying to get home as fast as you can.”

Southern rock at its finest, the Cadillac Three’s Bury Me in My Boots is a bold release that has something for everyone. While the guitar-driven tracks no doubt amp up a live setting, the trio prove that their ballads are just as memorable as the party anthems. A band that has written several No. 1 songs for other country artists,  Bury Me in My Boots is the Cadillac Three’s turn on the charts and with a release this solid they are proof that Southern rock is still alive and kicking.

Pre-order your copy of Bury Me In My Boots HERE.