Each one of the releases from Whiskey Myers has been bigger and bigger — following their break-out third album, 2014’s Early Morning Shakes, their most recent record, Mud, climbed to No. 4 on Billboard’s country charts in 2016. And that was before the group was featured in Kevin Costner’s TV series Yellowstone in 2018 (not just on the soundtrack, but on screen, performing in a bar), which propelled the band’s entire catalogue into the Top 10 of the iTunes country chart.
But playing to larger and wilder crowds — including audiences of more than 100,000 at the Download Festivals in London and Paris — didn’t cause Whiskey Myers to change their approach this time around. “We just bring our songs to the table and make it sound like us,” says Cannon. “We never think about it. We just try to go in and write a good song, whether it’s country or rock and roll or blues.
The big change for Whiskey Myers was the decision by the group (which also includes Cody Tate on guitar, Jeff Hogg on drums, bassist Jamey Gleaves and Tony Kentplaying keyboards and percussion) to produce the album themselves. GRAMMY-winner Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell, Brandi Carlile, Sturgill Simpson) helmed the band’s last two albums, but this time around, they felt ready to take the wheel.
Jeffers emphasizes how that sense of collaboration and experimentation really defined their whirlwind eighteen days of recording at the Sonic Ranch studio, outside of El Paso. “There’s never a right or wrong answer when it comes to ideas,” he says. “We would run every single idea from everyone — some work and some don’t, but we give them all a shot. And then there’s that magical moment when the whole band hears it, your eyes get a twinkle — ‘That’s it, that’s us!’ It’s usually a no-brainer.”
For this band of renegade brothers, the goal isn’t to fit into a format or try a new direction for its own sake, it’s to be true to the music they love — and with Whiskey Myers they continue pushing in all directions and sharpening their attack, whether country, rock, blues, whatever — even adding the legendary McCrary Sisters’ gospel influence to the project on background vocals. “Everybody wants you to pick a genre, but we did this our whole career,” says Cody Cannon. “We like it all, so we’re gonna do it all. We’re better than we were at 20 years old — you try to hone your skills and get better, write better, play better. This is just how it came naturally, and it works better that way.”