BlackTop Mojo

Original Article Release December 20, 2013

When you think of a great band, most people often don’t think about the many years that it takes to make it in the very competitive music industry.  As a writer that has been covering music and artists for a few years now, I know the hard work, dedication, and years it takes to get that sound that sets you apart from others.  That definition of your craft that can push you to the top.  Knowing this and that being said, I am amazed by a band that I came across today, because they have only been together for a little over a year.

BlackTop Mojo formed in September 2012 and two months later, they recorded their first EP at Audioworx studio in Palestine, Texas. The band is made up of Lead Vocalist Matt James, Drummer Nathan Gillis, guitarist Kenneth Irwin, and bassist Chris Davis. The EP features five songs, two of which, “Empty Seat” and “Moonshine Road” made their radio debut on 98.3 KYYK in December.

The band currently has seven tracks available, two of which are only months or days old. “I Will Ramble On” and “Sets On You” are the most recent tracks. The song “Sets On You” is an incredible track running through the memories of a lost love.  The memories from songs on the radio, pictures on the wall, and the random passing of people along the way tell the story of each and every day that the sun still sets on the woman that was lost, the love that was lost, and the days long gone. This song was wonderfully crafted and written.

“I Will Ramble On” gives a bit more edgy sound with some southern rock. This more upbeat track tells another story of a lost love, but this time with more grit.  Instead of letting the pain get the best of him, the character in this song chooses to “Ramble On”, and keep moving forward.  This track shows a bit more of the talent that each of the four band members brings to the group and leads the listener away from the country music feel and into a pure southern style rock song.

As they slow it down a bit once again, the acoustic track “Why” tells the story of a drifter, lost and searching for his way through life. This song showcases the talented voice of the lead singer as he rocks out while asking the questions in life that so many people ask.  There are so many different “Why’s” in this world and he is searching for the answer to the age old question.

“Midnight Angel” is an incredible track with a nice sounding guitar riff throughout. This song is so laid back and tells the story of that person we all have or we all long for.  The person that just makes everything just right, but in his case, that special Angel comes and goes.  As humans, we all search for that true love, the one that gives us hope, faith, and a belief that we can conquer the world. That person that completes us, and takes all our burdens away.  “Midnight Angel” tells the story perfectly, once again showcasing the talents of the group and the amazing vocals of the lead singer.

The song “Moonshine Road” is a rebel song, telling a Bonnie and Clyde story of the south.  The story is well written and is a nice flip to the classic love story.  It’s not everyday that you hear a love song about a couple with a rebel yell, running from the cops, cash in hand.  I really enjoyed this track, and the story goes. “Two Outlaws Together, On Moonshine Road”.

The song “Next Bullet” is a heavier feeling southern rock song. This track has the feeling of an Eric Church song.  The story of a legend, shotgun fire, and “The Next Bullet In My Gun” tells it all. The hard guitar riff toward the end of the song with the drums beating like shotgun fire was perfectly placed.

The final song is another lost love song. “Empty Seat” takes the listener on a road trip as the main character tries to drive away from the lost love, the memories, the fights, and pain. The empty passenger seat is the reminder of a love that once was there.  The memories won’t go away, but the hope of her being off of his mind by the next city limit sign stays strong as he drives on.

To listen to BlackTop Mojo or find out more about the band, Visit Their Website

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